Laparoscopic and Robotic SacrocolpopexyLaparoscopic and robotic sacrocolpopexy is performed by an urogynecologist who is trained to treat pelvic organ prolapse. Laparoscopic and robotic sacrocolpopexy is a type of reconstructive pelvic surgeries aimed at treating pelvic organ prolapse, a condition similar to a hernia in the vagina.
Conditions Treated With Minimally Invasive Sacrocolpopexy
The pelvic floor is a grouping of muscles, ligaments and connective tissues in the pelvis. These tissues support the pelvic organs, which include the intestines, bladder, uterus, cervix, vagina and rectum. The pelvic floor helps the pelvic organs function properly and stay in place, preventing them from falling down or out of the body.
Pelvic organ prolapse is a condition caused when a woman’s pelvic floor muscles become weakened, stretched or torn, and they can no longer support the organs of the pelvis. As a result, the organs may sag down or prolapse.
Minimally invasive sacrocolpopexy can treat different types of pelvic organ prolapse, including:
- Vaginal vault prolapse – the top of the vagina drops after loss of support
- Uterine prolapse – the uterus drops into the vagina
- Cystocele – the bladder drops into the vagina
- Rectocele – the rectum expands into the vagina
- Enterocele – the small intestine expands into the vagina
A surgeon performing laparoscopic and robotic sacrocolpopexy will typically follow this process:
- Four or five incisions are made in the abdomen.
- Carbon dioxide gas is pumped into the abdomen to inflate it, and a laparoscope and surgical instruments are inserted into the incisions.
- The instruments are attached to a robotic arm, which is remotely controlled by the surgeon in a nearby room.
- The surgeon attaches as special surgical mesh to the front and back walls of the vagina. This mesh is attached to the sacrum to reposition the sagging vagina or cervix.
If previously agreed upon, the surgeon may also:
- Remove the woman’s uterus, fallopian tubes and/or ovaries
- Surgically support other prolapsed organs (such as the bladder or rectum)
- Support the urethra if the patient has urinary incontinence
What to Expect
Laparoscopic and robotic sacrocolpopexy requires general anesthesia and typically takes two to three hours to complete. To ensure proper healing, the patient should keep the incisions clean and dry, and avoid:
- Performing strenuous activities, such as heavy pushing, pulling or lifting
- Putting anything in the vagina for six weeks following surgery
- Driving for two weeks
Effectiveness of Laparoscopic and Robotic Sacrocolpopexy
Minimally invasive sacrocolpopexy can be an effective option to treat pelvic organ prolapse. In general, it has low rates of complications and infrequent need for reoperation.
The urogynecologists who perform reconstructive pelvic surgery like sacrocopopexy at Tampa General Hospital work closely with a care team of women’s care medical experts to ensure the optimal results and improved quality of life for all patients.