Sacrocolpopexy – Minimally Invasive Surgery to treat Vaginal Vault Prolapse
05 June 2017 by - Dr Pandelis Athanasias
Vaginal prolapse is a common condition which affects many women, particularly after childbirth, where the pelvic floor muscles are at their weakest.
Prolapse is caused by the muscles failing to support the pelvic organs, resulting in their descent into the vagina and causing an uncomfortable dragging sensation, urination or bowel problems and difficulty having sexual intercourse.
These problems understandably cause sufferers a significant amount of stress and around 1 in 10 women will require surgery to fix prolapse.
What is sacrocolpopexy?
This is a minimally invasive surgical procedure used to correct prolapse of the vaginal vault, which is the top of the vagina. This type of surgery is used on women who have already undergone a hysterectomy and is designed to restore the vagina to its original functionality and positioning.
How is it carried out?
Sacrocolpopexy is performed under general aesthetic and involves either abdominal incision or keyhole surgery, using either a laparoscope or surgical robot. A mesh is used to attach the cervix to the sacral bone, which acts to lift the vagina and bladder back into their normal positions.
Is it safe?
The use of sacrocolpopexy mesh is considered much safer than the transvaginal mesh method used by some health professionals to treat pelvic prolapse, which has been widely criticised recently. With sacrocolpopexy, studies have shown that around 80-90% of women will be completely cured of prolapse following this treatment.
However, as with all surgeries, there are a small number of associated risks. There is a slight chance of prolapse developing in another part of the vagina, requiring further surgery. Other complications may include pain, damage to bladder or bowels, or exposure of mesh in the vagina, though these are generally rare.