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Laparoscopic rectal prolapse surgery combined with short hospital stay is safe in elderly and debilitated patients.

Surgical Endoscopy 2006 September
BACKGROUND: We report the results of patients treated from January 2000 to June 2004 for full-thickness rectal prolapse with trans-abdominal surgery in Helsinki.

METHODS: Sixty-five of 75 patients were treated laparoscopically, with a 6% conversion rate. Ten patients were operated on openly. Half of the patients were scored as American Society for Anesthesiologists III or IV.

RESULTS: The operation time was similar in the laparoscopic and the open rectopexy procedures (p = 0.15), whereas laparoscopic resection rectopexy was more time-consuming compared to the open procedure (p = 0.007). Intraoperative bleeding during laparoscopic surgery was minimal in comparison to open surgery (p = 0.006). Patients treated laparoscopically had a shorter median hospital stay than those treated with an open procedure (rectopexy, 3 and 7 days, respectively; resection rectopexy, 4 and 7.5 days, respectively) (p < 0.00001). There was no mortality and minor morbidity. During follow-up, there were two prolapse recurrences. All surgical techniques improved fecal continence considerably. Eighty-four percent of rectopexy patients and 92% of resection rectopexy patients considered the surgical outcome to be excellent or good.

CONCLUSIONS: Both rectopexy and resection rectopexy cure prolapse with good results and can be performed safely in older and debilitated patients. The laparoscopic approach enables a shortened hospital stay and is well tolerated in elderly patients.

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