August 1973

Anatomic Relations of Pelvic Autonomic Nerves to Pelvic Operations

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery, University of Chicago Hospitals and Clinics.

Arch Surg. 1973;107(2):324-328. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1973.01350200184038

Thirty-six dissections of the pelvic autonomic nerves were performed on cadavers. The superior hypogastric plexus over the aortic bifurcation, hypogastric nerve 1 to 2 cm medial to the pelvic ureter, the pelvic splanchnic nerves (nervi erigentes), contributing fibers to the inferior hypogastric plexus, and the inferior hypogastric plexus anterolateral to the rectum and superior to the levator ani muscles were all identified. In all instances, these pelvic autonomic nerves were located between the endopelvic fascia and pelvic peritoneum. Knowledge of this fact should aid the pelvic surgeon in operations for benign disease where resection of the endopelvic fascia is not required.