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Sacrospinous Fixation

Sacrospinous Fixation - What it is

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.

Why Is It Performed?

It is performed for severe protrusion of the vagina (after the womb was removed surgically).

The protrusion can bother you because of:

  • A heavy dragging, sometimes painful sensation in the vagina
  • An uncomfortable lump that can be felt or seen
  • Urinary difficulties (e.g. incomplete emptying of the bladder)
  • Bowel difficulties (e.g. constipation, incomplete emptying of the bowels)
  • Pain
  • Infection
  • Bleeding

The objective of the operation is to relieve the symptoms, restore vaginal anatomy and sexual function.

How Is It Done?

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.

What Are The Risks Associated With Sacrospinous Fixation?

Sacrospinous fixation is a safe operation. However, like all surgical operations, complications may occasionally occur. These include:

  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Injury to surrounding tissues (e.g. rectum and nerves)
  • Conversion into an abdominal operation to correct complications
  • Blood clot formation in the legs or lungs
  • Recurrence of prolapse

Are There Alternatives?

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.

Sacrospinous Fixation - Symptoms

Sacrospinous Fixation - How to prevent?

Sacrospinous Fixation - Causes and Risk Factors

Sacrospinous Fixation - Diagnosis

Sacrospinous Fixation - Treatments

Sacrospinous Fixation - Other Information

The information provided is not intended as medical advice. Terms of use. Information provided by SingHealth

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