RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIAL
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Bowel function after laparoscopic posterior sutured rectopexy versus ventral mesh rectopexy for rectal prolapse: a double-blind, randomised single-centre study.

BACKGROUND: Laparoscopic ventral mesh rectopexy for rectal prolapse has been widely used over the past decade to reduce postoperative functional bowel disorders. We aimed to compare changes in functional outcome 12 months after laparoscopic ventral mesh rectopexy versus laparoscopic posterior sutured rectopexy in patients with rectal prolapse.

METHODS: In this double-blind, randomised trial, consecutive patients aged 18 years or older at a single centre in Denmark with full-thickness rectal prolapse were randomly assigned (1:1) to either laparoscopic ventral mesh rectopexy or laparoscopic posterior sutured rectopexy by drawing numbers from opaque envelopes, in blocks of four for patients with or without preoperative constipation. Functional assessment was done preoperatively and 12 months postoperatively. The primary outcome was preoperative-to-postoperative change in obstructed defecation syndrome (ODS) score. Patients and those assessing the outcomes were masked to the procedure. The primary analysis was done in the per-protocol population. Safety outcomes were assessed in the entire cohort. The trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT00946205.

FINDINGS: From Nov 1, 2006, to Jan 31, 2014, 75 consecutive patients were assigned to laparoscopic posterior sutured rectopexy (n=37) or laparoscopic ventral mesh rectopexy (n=38). Eight patients withdrew consent to follow-up, leaving 34 patients in the posterior sutured rectopexy group and 33 in the ventral mesh rectopexy groups for the primary analysis. The preoperative-to-postoperative reduction in ODS score was 1·97 (95% CI 0·01 to 3·93) in patients who received ventral mesh rectopexy and 2·18 (-0·14 to 4·49) in those who received posterior sutured rectopexy (difference -0·21 [-3·19 to 2·78]; p=0·890). Postoperative surgical complications of Clavien-Dindo grade II or worse were reported in one (3%) of 38 patients in the ventral mesh rectopexy group (ureteral injury resulting in urine leakage, and a psoas abscess) and one (3%) of 37 patients in the posterior sutured rectopexy group (haematoma and pelvic abscess). Two (5%) patients in the posterior sutured rectopexy group developed recurrence within 12 months compared with none in the ventral mesh rectopexy group (p=0·305).

INTERPRETATION: Functional outcome measured by preoperative-to-postoperative change in ODS score was not significantly superior in patients who underwent ventral mesh rectopexy compared with those who had posterior sutured rectopexy. Additional, large, randomised, multicentre studies with long-term outcomes are warranted.

FUNDING: None.

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