The aim was to develop a new laparoscopic technique for placement of a pudendal lead.
Development of a direct, feasible and reliable minimal-invasive laparoscopic approach to the pudendal nerve (PN). Thirty-one embalmed human specimens were dissected for the relevant anatomic structures of the pelvis. Step-by-step documentation and analysis of the laparoscopic approach in order to locate the PN directly in its course around the medial part of the sacrospinous ligament and test this approach for feasibility. Landmarks for intraoperative navigation towards the PN as well as the possible position of an lead were selected and demonstrated.
The visible medial umbilical fold, the intrapelvine part of the internal pudendal artery, the coccygeus muscle and the sacrospinous ligament are the main landmarks. The PN traverses the medial part of the sacrospinous ligament dorsally, medially to the internal pudendal artery. The medial part of the sacrospinous ligament has to be exposed in order to display the nerve. An lead can be placed ventrally on the nerve or around it, depending on the lead type or shape.
A precise and reliable identification of the PN by means of laparoscopy is feasible with an easy four-step approach: (1) identification of the medial umbilical fold; (2) identification of the internal iliac artery; (3) identification of the internal pudendal artery and incision of the coccygeus muscle ("white line", arcuated line); and (4) exposition of the medial part of the sacrospinous ligament to display the PN.
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