Having surgery

Transvaginal rectocoele repair and levatorplasty

Surgery is done under general anaesthetic, which means you will be asleep and will not feel anything.

You stay in hospital for 1 to 3 nights depending on your recovery.

You will need a friend or family member to go with you when you leave hospital and stay with you for at least 24 hours.

We do everything we can to make sure there is no change to your admission date, but sometimes we need to prioritise someone who needs emergency treatment.

Before surgery

You go to a pre-assessment clinic so we can check your health, ask you questions about your medical history and your medicines, and talk to you about the surgery in more detail.

Please bring comfortable clothes into hospital with you. 


You will go to the surgical admissions lounge (SAL) on the morning of your operation.

The surgery involves a cut on the back wall of the vagina and the rectocoele will be pushed back into place. This is called the rectocoele repair.

The surgeon will then stitch together the existing muscles to create a new support. This is called levatorplasty.

Over the next few days the bleeding will become less, although you may have minor bleeding or spotting for 6 to 8 weeks.

If you think there is a lot of bleeding or the bleeding lasts longer than this, please contact us.

After surgery

After your surgery you will be transferred to a ward and you will stay in hospital for 1 to 3 nights depending on your recovery.

When you wake up you will have a catheter inserted. This is a long thin tube to drain your wee out of your bladder, so you do not need to get up to have a wee.

A clean, soft gauze will be placed in your vagina to help absorb any bleeding immediately after your operation.

Both the catheter and the vaginal pack are removed the day after your operation.

  • We check your blood pressure regularly.
  • We give you laxatives to help you have a poo (open your bowels).
  • You can eat and drink as soon as you feel able to.
  • You will have compression stockings on your legs to prevent blood clots, and will be encouraged to move around as soon as possible.
  • Your stitches dissolve over time.
  • You are given pain relief as you will have discomfort from the muscle that has been repaired.

Leaving hospital

When you leave hospital (discharged) you need a friend or family member to travel with you and stay with you for at least 24 hours. It is important that you rest for the remainder of the day.

You will need to continue taking your pain relief and laxatives when you get home. Recovery will be different for everyone, and can take 4 to 6 weeks.

You can go back to your normal activities as soon as you feel well enough, but you should avoid straining, lifting and strenuous exercise for at least 6 weeks.

You may have vaginal discharge or vaginal bleeding for up to 6 weeks after your operation.

Let your doctor know if this has a bad smell, or is heavy or you have a temperature. These can be signs of infection.

Avoid using tampons or having penetrative sex until it feels comfortable to do so.

Follow up appointment

You will have a follow-up appointment about 6 to 8 weeks after your operation.

If you have not received your appointment within 2 to 3 weeks of your surgery, please contact us to book an appointment.

Resource number: 3845/VER3
Last reviewed: April 2022
Next review: October 2023

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Contact us

If you have any questions or concerns about your operation, please contact pelvic floor unit.

Phone: 020 7188 4191 and ask to speak to a clinical nurse specialist, Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm

Email: [email protected]

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Do you have any comments or concerns about your care?

Contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS)

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