JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Laparoscopic ventral rectopexy: a prospective long-term evaluation of functional results and quality of life.

BACKGROUND: Laparoscopic ventral rectopexy for rectal prolapse combines the advantages of a minimally invasive approach with the low recurrence rate observed after abdominal procedures. To date, only a few long-term functional studies and no quality of life assessment are available. The aim of this study was to assess long-term functional outcomes and quality of life after laparoscopic ventral rectopexy.

METHODS: Between January 2007 and December 2008, patients who underwent laparoscopic ventral rectopexy for full-thickness external rectal prolapse and/or rectocele were prospectively included. Fecal incontinence and constipation were scored (Wexner score and Rome II criteria). Quality of life was assessed using the gastrointestinal quality of life form (GIQLI).

RESULTS: Thirty-three patients were included and 30 (91 %) completed all the questionnaires. There was no morbidity or mortality. The mean length of hospital stay was 5 ± 1 days (range 3-7 days). After a mean follow-up of 42 ± 7 months (range 32-52 months), recurrence of rectocele was observed in two patients (6 %). At the end of follow-up, constipation was improved in 13/18 patients (72 %) and two patients (7 %) presented de novo constipation. The patients' Wexner score improved between preoperative status and end of follow-up (12 ± 7 vs. 4 ± 3, p = 0.002). Compared to the preoperative score, quality of life significantly improved over time: 77 ± 21 preoperatively versus 107 ± 17 at 1 year versus 109 ± 18 at the end of follow-up (p < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS: This prospective study showed that laparoscopic ventral rectopexy was associated with excellent postoperative outcomes and a low long-term recurrence rate. Long-term functional results were excellent in terms of continence, with significant improvement of quality of life and without worsening constipation.

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