Understanding Robotic-Assisted Sacrocolpopexy (RASC)
Robotic-assisted sacrocolpopexy is a type of surgery. It’s done to repair pelvic organ prolapse. The surgery is done with special tools and a robotic controller.
What is pelvic organ prolapse?
Your pelvis is the bones in the lower part of your belly (abdomen). The uterus, bladder, and lower part of your intestines are just above the pelvic bones. Strong tissues help hold these organs in place. If the tissues weaken, one or more of these organs may drop down and press against or bulge into the vagina. This is called pelvic organ prolapse.
Why robotic-assisted sacrocolpopexy is done
You may need this surgery to relieve symptoms of pelvic organ prolapse, such as:
Fullness or pressure in your vagina
A bulge of tissue from your vagina
Ongoing vaginal discharge or bleeding
Leaking urine with coughing, sneezing, or laughing (stress incontinence)
Sudden urges to urinate
Trouble having bowel movements
Robotic-assisted sacrocolpopexy has some benefits over other types of surgery, such as:
A shorter hospital stay
A quicker recovery
But it may:
Take longer than other surgeries
Not be available where you live
How robotic-assisted sacrocolpopexy is done
The surgery may be done by a gynecologic surgeon. This is a doctor who specializes in female health. Or it may be done by a surgeon who specializes in the urinary system. The surgery can be done in several ways. The surgeon will make a few small cuts (incisions) in the abdomen. The surgeon will pass tools through the small incisions. These include a tiny camera with a light, and several robotic tools. If you are going to have a hysterectomy, the surgeon will remove your uterus. The surgeon will lift up the prolapsed part of your vagina. He or she will sew a tissue graft or synthetic mesh under the pelvic organs. This helps keep them in place. The graft or mesh is stitched (sutured) to strong tissue in the pelvic area. The surgeon may also repair other prolapsed pelvic organs. These may include your rectum or bladder.
Risks of robotic-assisted sacrocolpopexy
Every surgery has risks. The risks of this surgery include:
Blood clots that can travel to the lungs (pulmonary embolism)
Injury to nearby organs such as the intestines
Problems with cuts (incisions) healing
Problems with the mesh used to hold organs in place
Reaction to medicines used during surgery (anesthesia)
Organs or tissue not staying in place and return of symptoms
Need for more surgery
Your risks may vary depending on your age and overall health. They also depend on the location and severity of the prolapse. Talk with your healthcare provider about which risks apply most to you.
October 07, 2017
Callewaert, G., Laparoscopic versus robotic-assisted sacrocolpopexy for pelvic organ prolapse: a systematic review, Gynecological Surgery (2016); 13; 115-123, Pelvic organ prolpase in women: Surgical repair of apical prolapse (uterine or vaginal vault prolapse), Up To Date, Robot-assisted laparoscopy, Up To Date
Burd, Irina, MD, PhD,Freeborn, Donna, PhD, CNM, FNP