Although laparoscopic colpopexy has proven to be relatively safe, as in any surgical procedure, there are risks and potential complications. They include:
- Bleeding - Although blood loss during this procedure is relatively low compared to open surgery, a transfusion may still be required if deemed necessary either during the operation or afterwards during the postoperative period.
- Infection - All patients are treated with intravenous antibiotics, prior to the start of surgery to decrease the chance of infection from occurring within the urinary tract or at the incision sites.
- Adjacent tissue / organ injury - Although uncommon, possible injury to surrounding tissue and organs including the bladder, ureters, bowel, vascular structures, pelvic muscles, and nerves could require further procedures. Injury to nerves or muscles can also occur related to patient positioning during the operation.
- Hernia - Hernias at the incision sites rarely occur since all keyhole incisions are closed under direct laparoscopic view.
- Conversion to open surgery - The surgical procedure may require conversion to the standard open operation if extreme difficulty is encountered during the laparoscopic procedure such as excess scarring or bleeding. This could result in a standard open incision and possibly a longer recuperation period.
- Urinary incontinence - Pre-existing urinary incontinence will typically be addressed at the time of surgery with a bladder sling suspension, however, minor incontinence may still exist, which usually resolves with time. On occasion, medication may be required.
- Urinary retention - As with urinary incontinence, postoperative urinary retention is uncommon and usually is present in patients who undergo concurrent bladder sling suspension.
- Vesicovaginal fistula - A fistula (abnormal connection) between the bladder and vagina is a rare complication of any pelvic surgery involving the vagina, uterus, and bladder. A vesicovaginal fistula typically manifests with symptoms of continuous urinary leakage from the vagina. Although rare, these fistulas can be managed conservatively or by surgical repair through a vaginal incision.