Pelvic prolapse is a condition that occurs when muscles and ligaments supporting your pelvic organs weaken. As a result, these organs (uterus, vagina, cervix, bladder, urethra, or rectum) slip from their normal position.
Severe uterine prolapse can cause the uterus to slip partially into the vagina. It may cause the upper part of the vagina to sag into the vaginal canal or even outside the vagina.
Some women with prolapse have no symptoms. Others experience a feeling of sitting on a ball; pulling in the pelvis; pelvic or abdominal pain; painful intercourse; protrusion of tissue from the vagina; bladder infections; vaginal bleeding; unusual discharge; constipation or frequent urination.1
Pelvic prolapse is common, affecting about one in every three women who have had a child.2 One in nine women experience symptoms severe enough to need surgery.2 Prolapse risk factors include multiple vaginal deliveries, age, obesity, hysterectomy and smoking.1
Typically, pelvic prolapse worsens over time and can only be fully corrected with surgery. The procedure is called sacrocolpopexy. It is considered the most effective way to correct pelvic prolapse and resolve symptoms.3
During this procedure, surgical mesh is used to hold the vagina in its correct position. The mesh remains in place permanently. Sacrocolpopexy may also be performed following a hysterectomy to treat prolapse and provide long-term support of the vagina.4
Sacrocolpopexy has traditionally been performed using open surgery. A long, horizontal incision is made in the lower abdomen to manually accessthe pelvic organs, including the uterus. While the success rate of open sacrocolpopexy is high, recovery time can be long.
Laparoscopic sacrocolpopexy is a minimally invasive alternative to open surgery. This approach is considered to be technically challenging due to the extensive suturing and dissection required, along with the limitations of traditional laparoscopic technology.
If your doctor recommends sacrocolpopexy to treat pelvic prolapse, ask about minimally invasive da Vinci Surgery.
State-of-the-art da Vinci Surgery requires just a few tiny incisions. The enhanced vision, precision, dexterity and control of da Vinci allows your doctor
to perform a durable sacrocolpopexy even for women with complex cases.4 da Vinci Sacrocolpopexy offers women many potential benefits over traditional open surgery, including:
Less blood loss
Shorter hospital stay
Low rate of complications4
Small incisions for minimal scarring6
Less blood loss7
Shorter duration with catheter7
1Available from: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001508.htm
3Nygaard IE, McCreery R, Brubaker L, Connolly A, Cundiff G,
Weber AM, Zyczynski H; Pelvic Floor Disorders Network. Abdominal sacrocolpopexy: a comprehensive review. Obstet
Gynecol. 2004 Oct;104(4):805-23.
4Elliott DS, Krambeck AE, Chow GK. Long-term results of robotic assisted laparoscopic sacrocolpopexy for the treatment ofhigh grade vaginal vault prolapse. J Urol. 2006 Aug;176(2):655-9.
5 Geller EJ, Siddiqui NY, Wu JM, Visco AG. Short-Term Outcomes of Robotic Sacrocolpopexy Compared With Abdominal Sacrocolpopexy.
Obstetrics & Gynecology. 2008;112:1201-6.
6 Data on file with Intuitive Surgical, Inc.
7 Seror J, Yates DR, Seringe E, Vaessen C, Bitker MO, Chartier-Kastler E, Rouprêt M. Prospective comparison of short-term functional outcomes
obtained after pure laparoscopic and robot-assisted laparoscopic sacrocolpopexy. World J Urol. 2011 Aug 20.