[Surgical options in the treatment of the obstructed defaecation syndrome]

P Ambe, S A Weber, B J Esfahani, L Köhler
Deutsche Medizinische Wochenschrift 2011, 136 (12): 586-90
Chronic constipation is a symptom complex caused by a wide variety of diseases. Primary causes of constipation, including enterocele, rectocele, rectum prolapse and intussusception, involve changes of the bowel which either delay or prevent the passage of bowel content. This condition has been termed "obstructed defaecation syndrome" (ODS).This article is based on clinical experience and a review of selected literature. The complexity of chronic constipation warrants interdisciplinary work-up and treatment. The diagnostic work-up includes taking a focus on the history of patient's complaints. This can be objectified using a standardized scoring system, e. g. Longo score. Gynaecological examinations must be performed on all female patients. Intraluminal abnormalities are best excluded by colonoscopy and rectoscopy. An abnormal score in combination with negative findings on endoscopy and gynaecologic examinations warrant a radiological assessment with a defaecogramm in symptomatic patients. Treatment is usually medical, involving changes in life style, bowel habits and the use of laxatives. Biofeedback has been shown to be effective in some patients. Surgery is indicated for selected patient who do not improve after medical treatment. A range of surgical procedures have been shown to be effective in the treatment of chronic constipation. The minimal invasive double stapled trans anal rectum resection (STARR procedure) has been proven effective in treating rectocele and rectum prolapse in selected patients. The advantages of the STARR procedure include: short hospital stay, reduced postoperative pain and an early return to work. We consider this procedure as safe and effective when performed by a well trained surgeon in selected patients.

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