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Carolina Continence Center

What is the sacrospinous ligament fixation/extraperitoneal colpopexy?

The sacrospinous ligament fixation/extraperitoneal colpopexy attaches the upper portion of the vagina to ligaments deep within the pelvis.  Risks known to this procedure include damage to blood vessels, rectal perforation (putting a hole into the rectum), and nerve injury or entrapment.  Some of these problems could lead to prolonged pain and discomfort that usually resolve with time. A rare complication is entrapment of a nerve that supplies the leg, and this requires a second surgery to release this entrapment.

The procedure may be performed on both sides and permanent mesh may be used.  There is the possibility that this mesh can become infected, but this is unlikely.  Most patients will have buttock pain on the side(s) it is performed, and this resolves with time as well.  The risk of a significant complication (prolonged pain or nerve entrapment) is one to two percent.  The benefit of this procedure is that it is performed vaginally, with excellent long-term outcomes.  Most patients are fully ambulatory by the next hospital day.