It is an operation that is performed through the vaginal route to support the vagina (after previous surgery to remove the womb) by attaching the top of it to the right sacrospinous ligament.
It is often not the only procedure that is done. It may be done concurrently with surgery to correct urinary incontinence, to remove the womb or to correct bladder or rectal prolapse in the vagina.
It is performed for severe protrusion of the vagina (after the womb was removed surgically).
The protrusion can bother you because of:
The objective of the operation is to relieve the symptoms, restore vaginal anatomy and sexual function.
It may be done under regional anaesthesia (which involves the injection of a local anaesthetic medicine into the spine to numb the lower half of the body) or general anaesthesia (where you will be asleep throughout the procedure). The anaesthetist will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of both methods with you.
At the end of the operation, the vagina will usually be packed with an antiseptic gauze.
A catheter will be inserted into the bladder as there may be temporary difficulty in urination immediately after the procedure.
Painkillers and antibiotics will generally be prescribed after the procedure.
Sacrospinous fixation is a safe operation. However, like all surgical operations, complications may occasionally occur. These include:
Another operation that could be done to correct this problem would be abdominal sacrocolpopexy. Whilst abdominal operation may give better long term results of cure compared to sacrospinous fixation, it involves an abdominal incision and longer hospital stay.
The advantages of sacrospinous fixation are that it avoids an abdominal incision and it requires a shorter hospital stay. It is also less painful and patients can recover faster.
Conservative management includes using vaginal pessaries but complications such as infection and ulceration of vaginal tissues are common.
After the surgery, you will be seen at 1 week, 1 month, 6 months, 12 months and yearly thereafter. It is important to keep your follow-up appointments to ensure the best possible results.