Sacrocolpopexy is a procedure to correct prolapse of the vaginal vault (top of the vagina) in women who have had a previous hysterectomy. The operation is designed to restore the vagina to its normal position and function. A similar variation of this surgery, called sacrohysteropexy, corrects prolapse of the uterus. About 1 in 10 women need surgery for prolapse of the uterus or vagina.
Studies show that 80 to 90% of women having sacrocolpopexy are cured of prolapse and prolapse symptoms. Following surgery there is a small risk of prolapse developing in another part of the vagina, such as the front wall that supports the bladder. If this develops it may require further surgery.
- A sensation of dragging or fullness in the vagina.
- Difficulty emptying the bowel or bladder.
- Back ache.
- General pain.
- Pain during intercourse.
- Exposure of the mesh in the vagina.
- Damage to bladder, bowel, or ureters.
- Ask your health care provider about:
- Changing or stopping your regular medicines. This is especially important if you are taking diabetes medicines or blood thinners.
- Taking medicines such as aspirin and ibuprofen. These medicines can thin your blood. Do not take these medicines before your procedure unless directed by your health care provider.
- Follow instructions from your health care provider about eating or drinking restrictions.
- Some surgeons recommend bowel preparation prior to surgery and your doctor will instruct you if this is required.
- You may be given antibiotic medicine to help prevent infection.
- Plan to have someone take you home after the procedure.
What Happens During The Procedure?
- An IV tube will be inserted into one of your veins.
- You will be given one or more of the following:
- A medicine to help you relax (sedative).
- A medicine to numb the area (local anesthetic).
- A medicine to make you fall asleep (general anesthetic).
- A medicine that is injected into your spine to numb the area below and slightly above the injection site (spinal anesthetic).
- Using a laparoscope or surgical robot, the surgery will be performed either through an abdominal incision or keyholes.
- The vagina will be freed from the bladder at the front and the rectum at the back.
- A graft made of permanent synthetic mesh is used to cover the front and the back surfaces of the vagina. The mesh is then attached to the sacrum (tail bone).
- The mesh is then covered by a layer of tissue called the peritoneum that lines the abdominal cavity. This prevents the bowel from getting stuck to the mesh.
- Sacrocolpopexy can be performed at the same time as surgery for incontinence or vaginal repair for bladder or bowel prolapse.
Post Procedure Care
- You can expect to stay in the hospital between 2-5 days.
- During the first 6 weeks you should avoid any type of heavy housework or lifting, including shopping bags, laundry baskets, vacuuming, etc.
- Gentle walking is good exercise. Start with about 10 minutes a day when you feel ready and build up gradually.
- Avoid any fitness type training, aerobics, etc. for at least 6 weeks after surgery.
- Swimming, spa baths and intercourse should also be avoided for 6 weeks following surgery. Generally, you will need 4 to 6 weeks off work. This period may be longer if you have a very physical job.
This information is not intended to replace advice given to you by your health care provider.