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Effect of Operative Technique on Mesh Exposure in Laparoscopic Sacrocolpopexy

Warner, William B. MD*; Vora, Sonali MD; Hurtado, Eric A. MD; Welgoss, Jeffrey A. MD; Horbach, Nicolette S. MD; von Pechmann, Walter S. MD

Female Pelvic Medicine & Reconstructive Surgery: March/April 2012 - Volume 18 - Issue 2 - p 113–117
doi: 10.1097/SPV.0b013e318249bd54
Original Articles

Objectives To determine if opening the vaginal cuff during laparoscopic sacrocolpopexy influences the rate of mesh exposure.

Methods A total of 390 medical records were retrospectively reviewed for demographic information, operative technique, and relevant outcomes.

Results Eleven mesh exposures (2.8%) and 14 suture extrusions (3.6%) were found, none involving visceral organs. Mesh exposure was more common when the vaginal cuff was opened, either during hysterectomy or when allowing transvaginal attachment of mesh in patients with a prior hysterectomy (4.9% vs 0.5%; relative risk [RR], 9.0, P = 0.012). In cases where concomitant hysterectomy was performed, a higher mesh exposure rate was seen in open-cuff hysterectomy (total vaginal hysterectomy/laparoscopically assisted vaginal hysterectomy) compared to supracervical hysterectomy (4.9% [9/185] vs 0% [0/92]; P = 0.032). Mesh exposure was more common when the mesh was sutured laparoscopically compared with transvaginally in patients undergoing open-cuff hysterectomy (14.3% [5/35] vs 2.7% [4/150]; RR, 5.4; P = 0.013). Permanent suture extrusion was significantly associated with laparoscopic versus transvaginal suturing of mesh (5.6% vs 0.6%; RR, 8.8; P = 0.010). Five patients underwent reoperation for mesh exposure, whereas most suture extrusions were asymptomatic; and all were managed nonsurgically.

Conclusions We found that preserving the integrity of the vaginal cuff led to a lower incidence of mesh exposure in patients undergoing laparoscopic sacrocolpopexy. When hysterectomy is indicated, a supracervical technique should be strongly considered as the mesh exposure rate was significantly lower. If removal of the cervix is indicated, the risk for mesh exposure remains low and should not preclude total hysterectomy, though transvaginal mesh attachment may be preferable.

Maintaining the integrity of the vaginal cuff at the time of laparoscopic sacrocolpopexy lowers the risk of mesh exposure.

From the *Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda, MD; †Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, George Washington University School of Medicine, Washington, DC; and ‡Inova Fairfax Hospital, Annandale, VA.

Reprints: William B. Warner, MD, 1729 Hutchinson Ln, Silver Spring, MD 20906. E-mail:

Presented as a poster at the 2011 AUGS Annual Scientific Meeting, Providence, RI, September 14–17, 2011.

Jeffrey Welgoss is on the Medtronic speakers’ bureau. All the other authors have nothing to disclose. No financial support was received for this research study.

The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Navy, the Department of Defense, or the US Government.

© 2012 by Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins