Surgical Correction of Prolapse
Prolapse (or falling) of any pelvic floor organ (vagina, uterus, bladder or rectum) occurs when the connective tissues or muscles within the body cavity are weak and unable to hold the pelvis in its natural orientation. The weakening of connective tissues accelerates with age, after child birth, with weight gain and strenuous physical labor. Women experiencing pelvic organ prolapse typically have problems with urinary incontinence, vaginal ulceration, sexual dysfunction and/or having a bowel movement.
Women with moderate to severe uterine or vaginal vault prolapse can experience prolapse through their vagina (externally), as shown in the diagrams below.
Treating Uterine or Vaginal Vault Prolapse
Sacrocolpopexy is a procedure to surgically correct vaginal vault prolapse where mesh is used to hold the vagina in the correct anatomical position. There are more than 120,000 cases of uterine and vaginal vault prolapse surgically treated each year in the U.S. This procedure can also be performed following a hysterectomy to treat uterine prolapse to provide long-term support of the vagina.
Sacrocolpopexy has traditionally been performed as an open surgery. A 15-30 cm horizontal incision is made in the lower abdomen in order to manually access the intra-abdominal organs, including the uterus.
The Sacrocolpopexy Using Robotic Surgery
If your doctor recommends sacrocolpopexy, you may be a candidate for a new surgical procedure using a state-of-the-art robotic surgical system designed to help your surgeon perform a minimally-invasive surgery through small incisions. For most women this has numerous potential benefits over a traditional open approach:
- Significantly less pain
- Less blood loss and need for transfusions
- Less risk of infection
- Less scarring
- Shorter hospital stay
- Shorter recovery time
- Quicker return to normal activities