Introduction and hypothesis: To compare laparoscopic and vaginal approaches to uterosacral ligament vault suspension (USLS) by perioperative data, short-term complications, rates of successful concomitant adnexal surgery and procedural efficacy.
Methods: Retrospective cohort of USLS procedures performed at the time of hysterectomy at a tertiary care center over a 3-year period. Patient demographics, surgical data, concomitant adnexal procedures and complications were abstracted from a surgical database and compared using parametric or non-parametric tests as appropriate. Validated questionnaires (POPDI-6, UDI-6, PROMIS) were used to collect information on recurrence and long-term complications. Patients were analyzed according to both intention-to-treat analysis based on the intended approach and the completed route of surgery to deal with intraoperative conversions.
Results: Two hundred six patients met the criteria for inclusion; 152 underwent vaginal USLS (V-USLS) and 54 laparoscopic USLS (L-USLS). No statistically significant differences in mean case time, postoperative length of stay or perioperative infection were found. While no ureteric obstructions occurred in the L-USLS group, in the V-USLS group 14 (9%) obstructions occurred (p = 0.023). Postoperative urinary retention was higher with V-USLS (31% vs. 15%, p = 0.024). Rates of successfully completed adnexal surgery differed (56% vs. 98%, p < 0.001) in favor of L-USLS. Patient-reported symptomatic recurrence of prolapse was higher in the V-USLS group (41% vs. 24%, p = 0.046); despite this, re-treatment did not differ between the groups (0% vs. 7%, p = 0.113).
Conclusions: Perioperative case time and complications did not differ between approaches. However, rates of completed adnexal surgery were significantly higher in the laparoscopic group, which could influence surgical decisions concerning approaches to prolapse surgery.
Keywords: Complications; Laparoscopic surgery; Pelvic organ prolapse; Sacrospinous ligament suspension; Uterosacral ligament suspension; Vaginal surgery.