Transanal repair of rectocele corrects obstructed defecation if it is not associated with anismus

J J Tjandra, B S Ooi, C L Tang, P Dwyer, M Carey
Diseases of the Colon and Rectum 1999, 42 (12): 1544-50

PURPOSE: Rectocele is often associated with anorectal symptoms. Various surgical techniques have been described to repair the rectocele. The surgical results are variable. This study evaluated the results of transanal repair of rectocele, with particular emphasis on the impact of concomitant anismus on postoperative functional outcome.

METHODS: Fifty-nine consecutive females who underwent transanal repair of rectocele for obstructed defecation were prospectively reviewed. All 59 patients were parous with a median parity of 2 (range, 1-6) and a median age of 58 (range, 46-68) years. The median length of follow-up was 19 (range, 6-40) months. Anismus was detected by anorectal physiology and defecography. The functional outcome was assessed by a standard questionnaire, physical examination, anorectal manometry, neurophysiology, and defecography. The quality-of-life index was obtained using a visual analog scale (from 1-10, with 10 being the best).

RESULTS: The functional outcome of transanal repair of rectocele was superior in patients without anismus. Forty (93 percent) of the 43 patients without anismus showed improved evacuation after repair compared with 6 (38 percent) of the 16 patients with anismus (P<0.05). The quality-of-life index improved (9 vs. 4) if anismus was not present (P<0.05). There were minimal complications. Hemorrhage requiring blood transfusion (2 units) occurred in one patient and urinary retention in another.

CONCLUSION: Transanal repair of rectocele is safe and, in the absence of anismus, effectively corrects obstructed defecation.

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