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Characterizing and reporting pelvic floor defects: the revised New York classification system.

The authors have devised a conceptual model and reporting system for characterizing, grading and staging pelvic floor defects. The system is user friendly and simple to learn and apply. It is based on commonly known anatomic landmarks and can be performed without memorizing or referring to a separate characterization and reporting plan. Completing the accompanying forms is self-explanatory and provides the information needed for proper comprehension and recording of anatomic defects. The model and reporting format have been used at our institutions for 5 years by medical students, residents, fellows and attendings. It has several advantages over the Pelvic Organ Prolapse Quantitation (POPQ) system: (1) it uses known anatomic landmarks rather than alphabetic labels; (2) it grades lateral wall defects which the POPQ system omits; (3) it recognizes and reports isolated defects or tears which present as bulges in the vaginal walls without downward linear descent (prolapse); (4) it uses a one-page reporting form and a one-page checklist and vaginal profile; (5) it can be done easily in both the supine and the standing positions; (6) it requires simple instruments and a disposable measuring tape available in most office settings; (7) it includes urethral hypermobility in its reporting scheme; (8) it includes cervical length, perineal descent and other measurements in its reporting scheme; and (9) it is similar enough to the POPQ system that easy conversion to, and integration with, the POPQ reporting form and vaginal profile is possible. Prospective trials testing the validity of this system and comparing it with the POPQ system for validity, reliability, reproducibility, test-retest analysis, and interobserver and intraobserver variance are warranted.

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