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Minerva Ginecologica 2009 June;61(3):173-86


language: English

Update on laparoscopic, robotic, and minimally invasive vaginal surgery for pelvic floor repair

Ross J. W. 1, Preston M. R. 2, 3

1 Center for Female Continence Department Obstetrics and Gynecology David Geffen School of Medicine, UCLA, USA 2 Center for Female Continence and Minimally Invasive Pelvic Surgery The GYN Center for Women’s Health Waterbury, CT, USA 3 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology University of Connecticut School of Medicine Farmington, CT, USA


Advanced laparoscopic surgery marked the beginning of minimally invasive pelvic surgery. This technique lead to the development of laparoscopic hysterectomy, colposuspension, paravaginal repair, uterosacral suspension, and sacrocolpopexy without an abdominal incision. With laparoscopy there is a significant decrease in postoperative pain, shorter length of hospital stay, and a faster return to normal activities. These advantages made laparoscopy very appealing to patients. Advanced laparoscopy requires a special set of surgical skills and in the early phase of development training was not readily available. Advanced laparoscopy was developed by practicing physicians, instead of coming down through the more usual academic channels. The need for special training did hinder widespread acceptance. Nonetheless by physician to physician training and society training courses it has continued to grow and now has been incorporated in most medical school curriculums. In the last few years there has been new interest in laparoscopy because of the development of robotic assistance. The 3D vision and 720 degree articulating arms with robotics have made suture intensive procedures much easier. Laparosco-pic robotic-assisted sacrocolpopexy is in the reach of most surgeons. This field is so new that there is very little data to evaluate at this time. There are short comings with laparoscopy and even with robotic-assisted procedures it is not the cure all for pelvic floor surgery. Laparoscopic procedures are long and many patients requiring pelvic floor surgery have medical conditions preventing long anesthesia. Minimally invasive vaginal surgery has developed from the concept of tissue replacement by synthetic mesh. Initially sheets of synthetic mesh were tailored by physicians to repair the anterior and posterior vaginal compartment. The use of mesh by general surgeons for hernia repair has served as a model for urogynecology. There have been rapid improvements in biomaterials and specialized kits have been developed by industry. The purpose of this article is to present an update in urogynecologic laparoscopy, robotic surgery, and minimally invasive vaginal surgery.

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