Transvaginal rectopexy using the Flex® Colorectal Drive Robotic System: a proof-of-concept approach to rectal prolapse

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Techniques in Coloproctology








Rectal prolapse; Rectopexy; Robotics; Transvaginal


© 2020, Springer Nature Switzerland AG. Background: The aim of this study was to demonstrate a proof-of-concept approach to rectopexy that would provide the durability of the transabdominal procedure through use of sacral rectopexy with the decreased morbidity of a perineal procedure. This was done by utilizing a transvaginal approach and developing the rectovaginal space to accommodate sacral rectopexy placement using the Flex® Colorectal Drive Robotic System by Medrobotics (Medrobotics Corp., Raynham, MA, USA). Methods: A fresh female cadaver was acquired and placed in the high lithotomy position. The rectovaginal space was developed to accommodate the trocar of the Flex robot using blunt and sharp dissection between the posterior vaginal wall and anterior rectum. A piece of mesh was introduced into the space and using an endoscopic tacker, which was secured to the sacral promontory. The mesh was secured to the anterior rectal wall using interrupted vicryl sutures. The purse string suture was removed and the rectovaginal orifice was closed using a running vicryl suture. At the completion of the procedure, a low midline laparotomy was conducted to verify anchoring of the mesh appropriately at the sacral promontory. Results: This proof-of-concept protocol is the first description of the Flex® Colorectal Drive being used successfully to perform a transvaginal rectopexy for rectal prolapse in a cadaver. This is also the first description of the Flex® Colorectal Drive robot being used transvaginally. Conclusions: This proof-of-concept approach demonstrates that transvaginal rectopexy using the Flex® Colorectal Drive is a potential surgical option to address rectal prolapse that could provide patients the durability of a transabdominal approach with the decreased morbidity of a perineal approach. While early results are promising, additional cadaveric studies are required before this procedure can be attempted in vivo.

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