Management of Apical Pelvic Organ Prolapse

  • Alexandriah N. Alas
  • Jennifer T. AngerEmail author
Female Urology (K Kobashi, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Female Urology


Pelvic organ prolapse is a prevalent condition, with up to 12 % of women requiring surgery in their lifetime. This manuscript reviews the treatment options for apical prolapse, specifically. Both conservative and surgical management options are acceptable and should be based on patient preferences. Pessaries are the most commonly used conservative management options. Guided pelvic floor muscle training is more beneficial than self-taught Kegel exercises, though may not be effective for high stage or apical prolapse. Surgical treatment options include abdominal and vaginal approaches, the latter of which can be performed open, laparoscopically, and robotically. A systematic review has demonstrated that sacrocolpopexy has better long-term success for treatment of apical prolapse than vaginal techniques, but vaginal surgery can be considered an acceptable alternative. Recent data has demonstrated equal efficacy between uterosacral ligament suspension and sacrospinous ligament suspension at 1 year. To date, two randomized controlled trials have demonstrated equal efficacy between robotic and laparoscopic sacrocolpopexy. Though abdominal approaches may have increased long-term durability, when counseling their patients, surgeons should consider longer operating times and increased pain and cost with these procedures compared to vaginal surgery.

Key Points

• Pelvic floor physical therapy (PFPT) with a physical therapist is the best approach to conservative management of apical prolapse [10].

• Pessaries should be managed with regular follow-up care to minimize complications [14•].

• Minimally invasive sacrocolpopexy appears as effective as the gold standard abdominal sacrocolpopexy (ASC) [42•].

• Robotic assisted sacrocolpopexy (RASC) and laparoscopic assisted sacrocolpopexy (LASC) are equally effective and should be utilized by pelvic floor surgeons based on their skill level and expertise in laparoscopy [44, 45•].

• Uterosacral ligament suspension (USLS) and sacrospinous ligament suspension (SSLS) are considered equally effective procedures and can be combined with a vaginal hysterectomy.

• Obliterative procedures are effective but are considered definitive surgery [24••].

• The use of transvaginal mesh has been shown in some studies to be superior to native tissue repairs with regard to anatomic outcomes, but complication rates are higher. Transvaginal mesh should be reserved for surgeons with adequate training so that complications are minimized.


Pelvic organ prolapse Apical support Apical suspension Sacrocolpopexy 


Compliance with Ethics Guidelines

Conflict of Interest

Dr. Alexandriah N. Alas and Dr. Jennifer T. Anger each declare no potential conflicts of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Gynecology, Division of Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive SurgeryCleveland Clinic FloridaWestonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Surgery, Division of UrologyCedars-Sinai Medical CenterLos AngelesUSA
  3. 3.UCLABeverly HillsUSA

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