Medium-term results of stapled transanal rectal resection (STARR) for obstructed defecation and symptomatic rectal-anal intussusception

A C Goede, D Glancy, H Carter, A Mills, K Mabey, A R Dixon
Colorectal Disease 2011, 13 (9): 1052-7

AIM: Stapled transanal rectal resection (STARR) is an increasingly accepted treatment for obstructed defaecation syndrome (ODS) associated with internal rectal prolapse (IRP) and rectocoele. The aim of this study is to evaluate the medium to long-term outcomes of STARR for ODS.

METHOD: The intermediate-term results of STARR used over a 9-year period were reviewed from the analysis of a prospectively maintained database. Patients were followed for a median period of 98 (95% CI 85-112, range 5-386) weeks.

RESULTS: Three hundred and forty-four (234 woman) patients of median age 54 (19-90) years underwent STARR over a 9-year period. Preoperative symptoms included pelvic pain (93%), incomplete evacuation (90%), urgency (74%), a sensation of obstruction (65%) and rectal digitation (27%). Thirteen had the solitary rectal ulcer syndrome. Of 326 patients with follow-up data, 249 (76%) were followed beyond 1 year and 149 (43%) beyond 2 years. The ODS score improved [14.6 ± 5.4 pre vs 1.6 ± 3.1 post (P < 0.0001)] as did the faecal incontinence (FI) score [3.5 ± 3.3 pre vs 0.4 ± 1.3 post (P < 0.0001)]. Fifteen (4.3%) patients reported deterioration in FI, and 11 (3.2%) experienced new onset minor incontinence. Urgency was 72% at 8 weeks, 20% at 16 weeks, 11.5% at 52 weeks and 5% at 1.5 years. None of the 29 patients followed beyond 4 years reported urgency. Urgency was unrelated to sex, age or preoperative ODS symptoms (Mantel-Cox log-rank). Recurrent symptoms of ODS occurred in 4.9%. Eighty-one per cent of patients were highly satisfied with STARR and would recommend or have it again.

CONCLUSION: STARR was successful for the treatment of selected patients with ODS and IRP. Postoperative faecal urgency rapidly decreases with time. It is not possible to predict who will develop urgency.

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