Over 120,000 cases of uterine and vaginal vault prolapse are surgically treated each year in the U.S. Prolapse (or falling) of any pelvic floor organ (vagina, uterus, bladder or rectum) occurs when the pelvic muscles, ligaments and other connective tissues or muscles within the body cavity weaken and the uterus drops out of its normal position. The weakening of connective tissue accelerates with age, weight gain, strenuous physical labor and after child birth.
Sacrocolpopexy is the surgical procedure used to correct vaginal vault prolapse, where mesh is inserted to hold the vagina in the correct anatomical position. This procedure can also be performed following a hysterectomy to treat uterine prolapse and provide long-term support for the vagina.
Symptoms of pelvic or uterine prolapse:
- Frequent urination or urinary incontinence
- Pain during intercourse
- Pelvic or abdominal pain
- Repeated bladder infections
- Sexual dysfunction and/or having a bowel movement
- Vaginal bleeding or an unusual or excessive discharge
- Vaginal ulceration
Sacrocolpopexy has traditionally been performed as an open surgery using a 15-30 cm horizontal incision in the lower abdomen to manually access the inter-abdominal organs, including the uterus. If your doctor recommends sacrocolpopexy, you may be a candidate for a minimally invasive robotic sacrocolpopexy with the state-of-the-art da Vinci® Surgical System, designed to allow surgery through just a few small incisions.
Benefits of Robotic Sacrocolpopexy
For most women, robotic cacrocolpopexy offers 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
As with any surgery, these benefits cannot be guaranteed, as surgery is patient- and procedure-specific.