Aims: Oxygen plays a crucial role in wound healing after prolapse surgery. Trauma to the vaginal vasculature might limit the delivery of oxygen to the surgical wound, which may negatively affect wound healing and regeneration of connective tissue. This possibly increases the future risk of recurrence. We aimed to determine the effects of vaginal prolapse surgery on the microcirculation of the vaginal wall. Methods: We evaluated the vaginal microcirculation in healthy participants without known vascular disease undergoing anterior and/or posterior colporrhaphy. We used incident dark-field imaging for in vivo assessment before and after (1 day, 2 weeks, and 6 weeks) surgery. We studied perfusion (microvascular flow index [MFI]), angioarchitecture (morphology/layout of microvessels) and capillary density. Results: Ten women were included. Interindividual differences were observed 1 day postoperatively with regard to perfusion and angioarchitecture. Microvascular flow at the surgical site was absent or significantly reduced in some participants, whereas normal microvascular flow was observed in others (MFI range 0–3). Perfusion and angioarchitecture had been restored in all participants after 6 weeks (MFI range 2–3), regardless of the extent of vascular trauma 1 day postoperatively. Conclusions: The difference in the extent of vascular trauma between women undergoing seemingly identical surgical procedures suggests that some individuals are more susceptible to vascular trauma than others. Delivery of oxygen to the wound and subsequent wound healing may be compromised in these cases, which could be related to the development of anatomical recurrence. Future studies should investigate whether there is a relationship between the vaginal microvasculature and the recurrence of prolapse.

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Keywords cystocele, microcirculation, microvasculature, native tissue repair, pelvic organ prolapse, rectocele, recurrence, vaginal surgery
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1002/nau.24203, hdl.handle.net/1765/121449
Journal Neurourology and Urodynamics
Citation
Kastelein, A.W. (Arnoud W.), Diedrich, C.M. (Chantal M.), de Waal, L. (Laura), Ince, C, & Roovers, J.P. (2019). The vaginal microcirculation after prolapse surgery. Neurourology and Urodynamics. doi:10.1002/nau.24203