Stapled transanal rectal resection and sacral nerve stimulation - impact on faecal incontinence and quality of life

L Boenicke, M Kim, J Reibetanz, C-T Germer, C Isbert
Colorectal Disease 2012, 14 (4): 480-9

AIM: The aim of the study was to assess the impact of stapled transanal rectal resection (STARR) on pre-existing faecal incontinence and quality of life in patients suffering from obstructive defaecation syndrome (ODS) and to evaluate the efficiency of sequential sacral nerve stimulation (SNS) for improvement of persistent incontinence after STARR.

METHOD: Thirty-one patients with ODS and major faecal incontinence prior to STARR were prospectively enrolled. The outcome was measured using the Cleveland Clinic Constipation and Incontinence score (CCS, CCIS), Faecal Incontinence Qualities-of-Life Index (FIQL), Patient Assessment of Constipation Quality-of-Life (PAC-QOL) and EuroQol visual analogue scale (EQ-VAS).

RESULTS: The overall levels of constipation (CCS from 13.1 ± 3.8 to 6.2 ± 5.4; P < 0.001) and incontinence (CCIS from 12.6 ± 3.2 to 9.4 ± 5.1; P = 0.005) were significantly improved after STARR; concordantly, the global and specific quality of life were significantly improved. Following postoperative constipation and incontinence, three different groups of patients were differentially referred to SNS. In group I (n = 16, 52%), both constipation (CCS from 12.6 ± 4.0 to 3.6 ± 1.9; P < 0.001) and incontinence (CCSI from 12.43 ± 3.2 to 5.1 ± 1.9; P < 0.001) were improved. In group II (n = 8, 25%), only constipation was improved (CCS from 12.3 ± 2.3 to 3.3 ± 2.2; P < 0.001), while incontinence persisted (CCIS from 12.8 ± 2.9 to 13.1 ± 3.1; P > 0.05). In group III (n = 7, 23%) there was no improvement at all. Sacral nerve stimulation was successfully carried out in six (85%) of seven patients in group II (post-SNS CCSI 6.1 ± 1.7; P = 0.01) but failed in five of five patients in group III.

CONCLUSION: Stapled transanal rectal resection improves quality of life in ODS patients with both severe constipation and faecal incontinence. Sacral nerve stimulation may efficiently improve persisting incontinence after STARR in selected patients.

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