OBJECTIVE: Recurrent pelvic organ prolapse (POP) has been attributed to many factors, one of which is lack of vaginal apical support. To assess the role of vaginal apical support and POP, we analyzed a national dataset to compare long-term reoperation rates after prolapse surgery performed with and without apical support.
METHODS: Public use file data on a 5% random national sample of female Medicare beneficiaries were obtained from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Women with POP who underwent surgery during 1999 were identified by relevant International Classification of Diseases, 9th Revision, Clinical Modification, and Current Procedural Terminology, Fourth Edition codes. Individual patients were followed-up through 2009. Prolapse repair was categorized as anterior, posterior, or anterior–posterior with or without a concomitant apical suspension procedure. The primary outcome was the rate of retreatment for POP.
RESULTS: In 1999, 21,245 women had a diagnosis of POP. Of these, 3,244 (15.3%) underwent prolapse surgery that year. There were 2,756 women who underwent an anterior colporrhaphy, posterior colporrhaphy, or both with or without apical suspension. After 10 years, cumulative reoperation rates were highest among women who had an isolated anterior repair (20.2%) and significantly exceeded reoperation rates among women who had a concomitant apical support procedure (11.6%; P<.01).
CONCLUSION: Ten years after surgery for POP, the reoperation rate was significantly reduced when a concomitant apical suspension procedure was performed. This analysis of a national cohort suggests that the appropriate use of a vaginal apical support procedure at the time of surgical treatment of POP might reduce the long-term risk of prolapse recurrence.
LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: II