Effect of operative technique on mesh exposure in laparoscopic sacrocolpopexy

William B Warner, Sonali Vora, Eric A Hurtado, Jeffrey A Welgoss, Nicolette S Horbach, Walter S von Pechmann
Female Pelvic Medicine & Reconstructive Surgery 2012, 18 (2): 113-7

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.

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