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Pelvic organ prolapse is a condition that occurs when the vagina and other organs in the pelvic region fall out of place. A prolapsed bladder is referred to as a cystocele. This condition sometimes occurs after a hysterectomy.
According to the Mayo Clinic, approximately 1 in every 11 women will need surgery for issues related to pelvic organ prolapse within their lifetime.
A prolapsed bladder may cause symptoms such as pressure or discomfort in the pelvic region. Also, a bulge may be felt at the vaginal opening and urinary tract infections may occur often. Urinary incontinence or difficulty with urination are common as well.
Prolapsed bladder is categorized according to severity. A grade 1 cystocele occurs when the bladder only falls a short distance from its normal location. A grade 2 cystocele occurs when the bladder falls far enough to reach the opening of the vagina, and a grade 3 cystocele occurs when the bladder is actually protruding outside of the vagina.
A prolapsed bladder may be diagnosed using a combination of physical examinations, cystourethroscopy (bladder imaging), ultrasound and MRI.
Pelvic organ prolapse usually requires surgery to correct the problem. During surgery, the surgeon enters through an incision in the vaginal wall. The bladder is guided back into place and the connective tissues surrounding the bladder are secured to hold the bladder in place.