More than 120,000 women have surgery for uterine and vaginal vault prolapse each year in the United States. Prolapse (or falling) of any pelvic floor organs (vagina, uterus, bladder, or rectum) occurs when the connective tissues or muscles in the body cavity are weak and can't hold the pelvis in its natural position.
The weakening of connective tissues accelerates with age, after child birth, with weight gain, and with strenuous physical labor. Women with pelvic organ prolapse typically have problems with urinary incontinence, vaginal ulceration, sexual dysfunction, and/or having a bowel movement.
Surgical treatment options
Sacrocolpopexy is a procedure to surgically correct vaginal vault prolapse. Mesh is used to hold the vagina in the correct anatomical position. This procedure also can 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- to 30-cm horizontal incision is made in the lower abdomen in order to manually access the inter-abdominal organs, including the uterus.
If your doctor recommends sacrocolpopexy, you may be a candidate for a new minimally invasive robotic-assisted surgical procedure using the da Vinci Surgical System. This procedure (only tiny incisions are made) offers numerous potential benefits over a traditional open approach:
All surgical procedures are both patient- and procedure-specific. While sacrocolpopexy using the da Vinci Surgical System 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 the risks and benefits.