Improved clinical outcomes with a new contour-curved stapler in the surgical treatment of obstructed defecation syndrome: a mid-term randomized controlled trial

Adolfo Renzi, Antonio Brillantino, Giandomenico Di Sarno, Domenico Izzo, Francesco D'Aniello, Armando Falato
Diseases of the Colon and Rectum 2011, 54 (6): 736-42

BACKGROUND: Stapled transanal rectal resection has become the primary surgical procedure for surgical treatment of obstructed defecation syndrome caused by rectocele or rectal intussusception. The procedure is generally performed with 2 circular staplers. Recently, a dedicated contour-curved stapler was developed.

OBJECTIVE: This study was designed to compare the effects of these stapler types on relief of symptoms.

DESIGN AND SETTING: A randomized controlled trial was conducted at a regional referral center in Naples, Italy.

PATIENTS: Patients with obstructed defecation syndrome and rectocele or rectal intussusception, treated from November 2005 through September 2007.

INTERVENTIONS: Participants were randomly assigned to undergo stapled transanal rectal resection with 2 circular staplers or the contour-curved stapler.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: The primary end point was success rate at 24 months, defined by symptom improvement on an obstructed defecation syndrome scale. Secondary end points included success rate at 12 months, Agachan-Wexner constipation score, and rates of early and late complications at 12 and 24 months.

RESULTS: Of 198 patients evaluated, 63 patients (31.8%) satisfied criteria. Follow-up data were available for 61 patients: 30 patients (28 women) in the circular stapler group (mean age, 53; range, 41-75 years) and 31 (29 women) in the contour-curved stapler group (mean age, 55; range, 38-69 years). At 24-month follow-up, success was achieved in 21 patients (70.0%) with the circular staplers and in 27 (87.0%) with the contour-curved stapler (P = .10). Symptom scores improved significantly in both groups from baseline to 12 months (P < .0001). Improvement was maintained in the contour-curved stapler group: mean score, 5.0 (SD, 1.6) at 12 months and 5.5 (1.5) at 24 months (P = .20). In the circular stapler group, symptom scores worsened from 4.5 (1.5) at 12 months to 9.0 (1.3) at 24 months (P < .0001). At 24 months, the groups differed significantly in symptom scores (P < .0001) and constipation scores (P = .03). No significant differences were seen in duration of postoperative hospital stay or rate of early or late complications.

CONCLUSIONS: Stapled transanal rectal resection with either circular or contour-curved staplers can achieve relief of symptoms in patients with obstructed defecation syndrome. The contour-curved stapler appears to result in more stable clinical results over time.

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