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What causes an enterocele?

Dr. Rick Sayegh
Dr. Rick Sayegh on behalf of MDLIVE
Internist

An enterocele is a herniation of the small bowel/peritoneum into the vaginal lumen, most commonly presenting following hysterectomy in conjunction with vaginal vault prolapse.

Dr. Kevin W. Windom, MD
OBGYN (Obstetrician & Gynecologist)

An enterocele is a hernia in the apex of the vagina where intestines are bulging into the vagina. This is most commonly seen after a hysterectomy due to the fact that the cervix and uterus have been removed and the apex of the vagina is sewn together and there is an inherently weak area that could allow herniation of the intestines into the vagina.

Most patients with enteroceles do not have bowel or bladder complaints, but they do have a feeling of pelvic pressure and pelvic pain and a bulging or fullness sensation in the vagina.

An enterocele can be treated with conservative measures, especially with usage of pessary and/or Kegel exercises. The surgical treatment for an enterocele is to use graft augmentation, so as to close over the apex of the vagina and remedy this herniation of the intestines into the vagina. Both polypropylene and biologic grafts have been used for this procedure and can be performed in a vaginal approach or through an intra-abdominal approach. The intra-abdominal approach is an abdominal sacral colpopexy, which is a complicated surgical procedure in which a Y-shaped mesh is placed over the apex of the vagina and is re-suspended to the sacrum.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.