What Is the Effect of Body Mass Index on Subjective Outcome Following Vaginal Hysterectomy for Prolapse?

Type Article

Journal Article


T. Gray; J. Money-Taylor; W. Li; A. G. Farkas; P. C. Campbell; S. C. Radley

Year of publication



Int Neurourol J








PURPOSE: Obesity is a significant risk factor for pelvic organ prolapse (POP), but the effects of obesity on outcomes of surgery for POP are poorly understood. The aim of this study was to assess the relationship between POP symptomatology, subjective outcomes of surgery and body mass index (BMI) in women undergoing vaginal hysterectomy for POP. METHODS: Pre- and postoperative data from a validated pelvic floor questionnaire (electronic Personal Assessment Questionnaire-Pelvic Floor) were collected prospectively from 60 women undergoing vaginal hysterectomy for POP. Of these, 20 were normal weight (BMI 18.5-24.9 kg/m2), 20 were overweight (BMI 25-29.9 kg/m2), and 20 were women with obesity (BMI 30-34.9 kg/m2). The relationship between BMI and symptom scores for prolapse, impact on vaginal symptoms on quality of life (VS-QoL) and 'overall change in condition' was assessed. Pre- and postoperative symptom scores were compared using repeated mixed analysis of variance test for BMI as a categorical variable (normal, overweight, and obese). Spearman rank order correlation test was carried out to evaluate BMI as a continuous variable. All women underwent vaginal hysterectomy using a standardized technique. RESULTS: Overall, 93% of women reported improvement in their condition. The main finding was that 'overall change in condition' was negatively correlated with increasing BMI (rs=-0.324, P=0.028). Irrespective of BMI, significant improvements were observed in symptoms of prolapse and VS-QoL at 3-month postoperation. CONCLUSION: With increasing BMI, women are likely to report lower levels of satisfaction following prolapse surgery, despite reporting equivalent improvements in symptoms. BMI is known to affect how individuals perceive their general health and well-being with obese individuals reporting poorer levels of subjective health status. Women with obesity may perceive change in their condition after prolapse surgery differently to women of normal weight. Reduction of weight prior to prolapse surgery could be considered in obese women to improve subjective outcomes of surgery.