Illustration of sacrospinous ligament suspension

Sacrospinous ligament suspension surgery restores the support of the vagina using a patient’s own tissues. It can be performed at the time of hysterectomy, or years after. In women who wish to preserve their uterus, this procedure can be modified to accommodate this.

How is this surgery performed?

Illustration of patient positioned for urogynecologic surgery

Your urogynecologic surgeon will create an incision through the vagina to stitch the top of the vagina to the sacrospinous ligament, which runs along the bones of the pelvis and sacrum.

This type of prolapse procedure is referred to as a “native tissue repair” because your own tissue is used to restore the support of the vagina. Permanent and/or dissolving stiches will be used and over time, scar tissue will form around them to help support the vagina.

How successful is this surgery?

This procedure has been extensively researched and is a good surgical option for treating vaginal or uterovaginal prolapse. However, since the patient’s own tissue is used to help make the repair, women who choose this surgery have a higher risk of recurrent prolapse and might require another surgical procedure in the future.

What are the risks?

Patient outcomes and complications of sacrospinous ligament suspension are well studied. These risks are small but include:

  • Bleeding/hematoma formation at the surgical site
  • Lower back/buttock pain

Although rare, some women develop pain during sexual activity after surgery. If this occurs, your urogynecologist can refer you to a pelvic floor physical therapist to alleviate your symptoms.

What does recovery look like?

Owing to the minimally invasive approaches used by your University of Chicago Medicine urogynecologic surgeon, you will be able to go home the same day as your surgery.

Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) Program

To help you properly heal and get back to do the activities you love, our urogynecologists have developed an Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) Program to reduce post-operative pain, nausea and fatigue. As quality-of-life surgeons, we are passionate about restoring your quality of life, and aim to return you to the activities that you find interest in as quickly as safely possible. We allow you to resume activity as you see fit, listening to your body and its response to physical activity. However, we do ask you to refrain from sexual activity for several weeks while the stitches in your vagina heal. Most women feel back to normal within two to four weeks following surgery.