Sacral Colpopexy

Sacral colpopexy is an operation that suspends the vagina or uterus, using a synthetic or biological graft, from the front of the sacrum (tail bone). This provides good support to the top of the vagina or uterus. A repair inside the vagina may also be required at the same time. The operation can be performed in combination with other procedures. Studies from our hospital show that this operation is successful to support the top of the vagina or uterus in over 90% of women. This operation is usually reserved for women with severe prolapse who have already had a hysterectomy (vault prolapse).

What happens during surgery?

The surgery is performed under general anaesthetic (you are completely asleep). The operation may require an incision on your abdomen or be performed laparoscopically or using a robotic system (key-hole surgery). Dr Carey usually performs this operation laparoscopically or by robotic surgery, but he will advise you which method is best for you. The top of the vagina (the vaginal vault) is suspended with a synthetic graft from the back of the sacrum (tail bone). This provides very strong support for the vagina. A surgical repair of the vagina may be required, depending on the type of prolapse you have. At the end of the operation, a catheter is inserted into the bladder to drain urine and remains in place overnight. A cystoscopy (looking inside the bladder) will usually be performed at the end of the surgery to check that no damage has occurred to the bladder or ureters (the tubes running from the kidneys down to the bladder).

The illustration below demonstrates the vagina suspended from the sacrum with synthetic graft (sacral colpopexy). A surgical vaginal support device (S-POP) is placed into the vagina at the end of end of surgery and is removed 21 to 28 days after surgery.

Dr Carey will be happy to answer any questions you may have and can give more specific advice. Before deciding to have surgery, you should read carefully all the information about your operation and consider obtaining a second opinion.

If you experience complications after you leave hospital, contact Dr Carey or the nursing staff on 1 West at the Epworth Freemasons Hospital for advice. In an emergency you may attend the Royal Women’s Hospital, Parkville or Epworth Hospital, Richmond emergency department or attend your closest hospital emergency department.