Vaginal prolapse occurs when the network of muscles, ligaments and skin that hold the vagina in its correct anatomical position weaken. This causes the vagina to prolapse (slip or fall) from its normal position.
Uterine prolapse occurs when pelvic floor muscles and ligaments stretch and weaken, reducing support for the uterus. The uterus then slips or falls into the vaginal canal.
Vaginal prolapse can cause the following symptoms:
Risk factors for vaginal prolapse include:
Sacrocolpopexy has traditionally been performed as an open vaginal prolapse surgery. A six- to 12-inch horizontal incision is made in the lower abdomen in order to manually access the pelvic organs, including the uterus. While the success rate of open abdominal sacrocolpopexy is high, recovery time can be long, including a five- to six-day hospital stay.
Another approach, laparoscopic sacrocolpopexy, offers a minimally invasive alternative to open vaginal prolapse surgery. But this approach is generally considered to be technically challenging due to the extensive suturing and dissection required coupled with the limitations of traditional laparoscopic technology.
If your doctor recommends sacrocolpopexy, you may be a candidate for minimally invasive da Vinci robotic surgery.
For most women, da Vinci robot-assisted surgery offers numerous potential benefits over a traditional open approach to sacrocolpopexy:
da Vinci Sacrocolpopexy also allows your surgeon better visualization of anatomy, which is especially critical when working around delicate and confined structures like the uterus and vagina.
Meet Dr. Kathryn Arendt, an EvergreenHealth surgeon who performs the da Vinci Sacrocolpopexy.
If you are a candidate for uterine or vaginal prolapse surgery, talk to an EvergreenHealth surgeon who performs da Vinci sacrocolpopexy. To find a surgeon, you can:
For additional information on the da Vinci Sacrocolpopexy:
As with any surgery, these benefits cannot be guaranteed, as surgery is both patient- and procedure-specific. While sacrocolpopexy performed using the da Vinci robot-assisted surgery is considered safe and effective, this procedure may not be appropriate for every individual. Always ask your doctor about all treatment options, as well as their risks and benefits.