A Prospective Observational Study of the Classification of the Perineum and Evaluation of Perineal Repair at the Time of Posterior Colporrhaphy

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Abstract

Objective

The aim of this prospective observational study was to obtain a better understanding of the anatomy and to classify the observed different perineal presentations at the time of posterior colporrhaphy and to describe specific surgical techniques used.

Methods

To classify the observed perineal findings, the Pelvic Organ Prolapse Quantification System with a newly introduced additional measurement of the perineal ridge (PR) was taken intraoperatively and postoperatively in 121 consecutive women undergoing posterior colporrhaphy. Dependent on the preoperative classification of the perineum as being normal (type 1), deficient (type 2), or with a PR (type 3), a specific surgical repair was performed for each type of perineal presentation.

Results

The perineal presentations were categorized into 3 defined groups. Type 1 (normal perineum) was seen in 40%, type 2 (deficient perineum) in 13%, and type 3 (PR) in 47%. A type 1 correlates with prior cesarean section (P = 0.29), a type 2 correlates with prior vaginal delivery (P = 0.05), and type 3 perineum with prior pelvic floor surgery (P < 0.0001). When perineal type–specific surgical techniques were performed, the perineal body length increased postoperatively in type 2 (P < 0.05), decreased in type 3 (P < 0.05), and remained unchanged in those with type 1 defects.

Conclusions

This study demonstrates that the perineal region can be clearly defined into 3 categories. The distinct perineal presentation correlates with the previous gynecological history. With a specific perineal repair at the time of posterior colporrhaphy, the perineal anatomy can be restored in the short term.

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