What is Sacrocolpopexy?

Sacrocolpopexy (sacral colpopexy) is a surgical procedure that is used to treat cases of pelvic organ prolapse. While most commonly used for vaginal vault prolapses, the method can also be employed to treat uterine prolapses (in which case, the procedure is known as sacrohysteropexy). It can be performed either through open surgery or keyhole surgery (laparoscopy).

A laparoscopic sacrocolpopexy procedure has a higher success rate than other forms of surgery and is usually preferred by both patients and Dr G for the associated advantages.

Advantages of a laparoscopic surgery

The advantages of a laparoscopic sacrocolpopexy over open surgery include:

  • high success rate
  • quicker recovery time
  • less post-surgery pain
  • lower hospital costs (due to a shorter hospital stay)
  • minimal scarring
  • smaller potential for complications

Dr G specialises in laparoscopic sacrocolpopexy surgery. With over a decade of experience in the field and up-to-date knowledge, the methods he employs are the best that medical science has to offer.

Laparoscopic Sacrocolpopexy for Vaginal Vault Prolapse

The primary aim of Dr G when performing the sacrocolpopexy is to suspend the vaginal roof (or, in the case of women who have had hysterectomies, the vaginal cuff) in as natural a manner as possible. To mimic the support offered by the uterosacrcal and cardinal ligaments, the vaginal roof is affixed to the sacral promontory using a synthetic mesh. In the case of postmenopausal women who have a concurrent prolapsed uterus, a hysterectomy can be carried out at the same time.

A vaginal vault prolapse typically occurs when the connective tissue system that suspends the vagina is weakened or damaged. During a sacrocolpopexy, Dr G will use a soft mesh to resuspend the vaginal vault. The mesh is attached to the vaginal wall at one end and the sacrum at the other, allowing the vagina to be repositioned firmly and successfully.

Risks associated with Laparoscopic Sacrocolpopexy

Laparoscopic sacrocolpopexy has few risks with a low incidence-rate. These risks can be grouped under:

  • Anaesthesia. These complications are common to all procedures that involve general anaesthesia and may arise if you have a particular genetic susceptibility or don’t follow the doctor’s orders.
  • Route of surgery. These risks include damage to the blood vessels of the abdominal wall and port site hernia.
  • Structures adjacent to the prolapsed pelvic organ. It is possible for damage to be dealt to the organs, blood vessels and nerves surrounding the prolapsed organ.
  • Repair material: It is possible for complications such as swelling, infection and mesh erosion to arise from the insertion of the graft or mesh. The incidence of complications that result from a synthetic mesh is between 3 and 10%.

Surgical alternatives to Laparoscopic Sacrocolpopexy

Clinical research demonstrates that sacrocolpopexy currently has the highest success rate amongst long-term oriented surgical cures for vaginal vault prolapses. Nevertheless, there are other surgical procedures that can be employed to treat a vaginal vault prolapse (including sacrospinous ligament fixation, Iliococcygeus suspension and uterosacral ligament suspension amongst others). The surgical method chosen is usually determined by:

  • the acuteness of the prolapse;
  • your age
  • your desire to conceive in the future
  • your general health;
  • prior surgeries (particularly repair surgeries);
  • the surgeon’s experience and training; and
  • the associated outcomes, success-rates, and complications documented in medical literature

Other factors that influence the selection of the surgical method include:

  • route of surgical method
  • locations of the stitches, graft, and mesh
  • material employed during the process (whether the patient’s own tissue, grafts, or synthetic mesh)

Not all surgical methods available will be suited to the individual requirements of your case. Dr G will be able to discuss your options with you and advise you on the ones most suited to your needs at the time of your consultation. It is important to note that no surgical procedure is 100% successful.

Should you opt for a Laparoscopic Sacrocolpopexy?

Since the nature of the problem, current state of health, and outcome expectations vary with individuals, Dr G will discuss your options with you in detail to ensure that laparoscopic sacrocolpopexy is the best procedure for your case.