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Laparoscopic Ventral Rectopexy Versus Laparoscopic Wells Rectopexy for Complete Rectal Prolapse: Long-Term Results.

BACKGROUND: There is no agreement about which laparoscopic rectopexy technique is best for treating complete rectal prolapse. Purpose was to compare functional outcome, the recurrence rate, and quality of life in patients treated with laparoscopic ventral rectopexy (LVR) versus the laparoscopic Wells rectopexy (LWR) for complete rectal prolapse.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: A retrospective review of a prospectively maintained database of consecutive patients who presented with complete rectal prolapse. Patients were divided into two cohorts: first one had LVR and the other one had LWR. Exclusion criteria were previous major abdominal surgery, slow transit constipation, Hirschsprung's disease, inflammatory bowel disease, pregnancy, and patients on drugs that cause constipation. Patients were assessed preoperatively by clinical examination to evaluate constipation using the Wexner constipation scale (WCS), incontinence using the Wexner incontinence score (WIS), and quality of life using the gastrointestinal quality of life index (GIQOL). The primary outcome measures were disappearance of prolapse and recurrences. Secondary outcome parameters were operative time, complications, length of hospital stay, effect on perineal descent, functional outcome (constipation and continence), and quality of life.

RESULTS: A total of 74 patients (mean age of 55 years) with complete rectal prolapse had LVR (n = 41) and LWR (n = 33). Sixty (81%) patients were females. Operative time was significantly longer in LVR (122 minutes versus 105 minutes; P = .001). Also, length of stay was significantly longer in LVR (4.5 days versus 3.7 days; P = .04). Recurrences were reported in 1 patient in each group. Perineal descent improved >50% in defecogram 6 months postoperatively in 79% in LVR versus 21% in LWR. In LVR, mean WCS decreased from 11.3 to 5.1 postoperatively (P < .0001), while in LWR it decreased from 8.9 to 6.9 (P = .11). Mean WIS decreased in LVR from 5.9 to 3.8, P = .01, while in LWR, it decreased from 6.6 to 2.8; P = .001. GIQOL improved from 74.4 to 124.9 in LVR and from 79.3 to 112.6 in LWR. The change in both groups was statistically significant (P = .0001).

CONCLUSIONS: In this study, both LVR and LWR successfully and safely corrected the prolapse and prevented recurrence in patients after long-term follow-up. Operative time and hospital length of stay are significantly shorter in LWR. High incontinence scores and age >70 are potential predictors of bad continence postoperatively. LVR appears to be more suitable for patients with a high constipation score and abnormal perineal descent.

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