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15-Year experience in the treatment of rectal prolapse in children.

BACKGROUND: Rectal prolapse is a common and usually self-limited condition in children. Several surgical techniques have been advocated for refractory prolapse. We reviewed our experience with treatment and the outcome of refractory rectal prolapse.

METHODS: Retrospective review was conducted on patients undergoing surgery for rectal prolapse from January 1993 to March 2009. Patients with imperforate anus/cloacal abnormalities, Hirschsprung disease, spina bifida, or prior pull-through were excluded.

RESULTS: Twenty patients underwent 23 procedures for rectal prolapse. There were 10 posterior sagittal rectopexies, 6 transabdominal rectopexies, 5 laparoscopic rectopexies, 1 hypertonic saline injection, and 1 anal cerclage. The mean duration of symptoms was 1.6 years (range, 1-10 years). The mean age at operation was 6.8 years (range, 4 months-19 years), with a 5:1 male predominance. There was no operative or perioperative mortality. Median length of follow-up was 7.2 months; 2 patients were lost to follow-up. The overall recurrence rate was 35%. All recurrences followed posterior sagittal rectopexies, which had a 70% recurrence rate. Four patients required reoperation, all done transabdominally (2 open and 2 laparoscopically). None of the 3 remaining patients with mild recurrences required reoperation.

CONCLUSIONS: A variety of options for management of refractory rectal prolapse in children exist. Laparoscopic rectopexy seems to be safe and a comparatively successful option in these children.

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