Superior hypogastric plexus

The superior hypogastric plexus (in older texts, hypogastric plexus or presacral nerve) is a plexus of nerves situated on the vertebral bodies anterior to the bifurcation of the abdominal aorta.

Superior hypogastric plexus
The right sympathetic chain and its connections with the thoracic, abdominal, and pelvic plexuses. (Hypogastric plexus is labeled on right, fourth from the bottom.)
Lower half of right sympathetic cord.
Latinplexus hypogastricus superior, nervus presacralis
Anatomical terms of neuroanatomy


From the plexus, sympathetic fibers are carried into the pelvis as two main trunks- the right and left hypogastric nerves- each lying medial to the internal iliac artery and its branches. The right and left hypogastric nerves continues as Inferior hypogastric plexus; these hypogastric nerves send sympathetic fibers to the ovarian and ureteric plexuses, which originate within the renal and abdominal aortic sympathetic plexuses. The superior hypogastric plexus receives contributions from the two lower lumbar splanchnic nerves (L3-L4), which are branches of the chain ganglia. They also contain parasympathetic fibers which arise from pelvic splanchnic nerve (S2-S4) and ascend from Inferior hypogastric plexus; it is more usual for these parasympathetic fibers to ascend to the left-handed side of the superior hypogastric plexus and cross the branches of the sigmoid and left colic vessel branches, as these parasympathetic branches are distributed along the branches of the inferior mesenteric artery.

Clinical significance

Presacral neurectomy is a laparoscopic procedure where superior hypogastric plexus is excised, so that the pain pathway is cut off from the spinal column. This procedure is done to manage chronic pelvic pain when conservative medical therapy fails.[1]

Additional images


  1. Chen, FP (January 2000). "Laparoscopic presacral neurectomy for chronic pelvic pain". Chang Gung medical journal. 23 (1): 1–7. PMID 10746403.

This article incorporates text in the public domain from page 987 of the 20th edition of Gray's Anatomy (1918)

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