PURPOSE: The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of surgical technique on functional and manovolumetric results in patients treated with Marlex(R) mesh abdominal rectopexy.
METHODS: The lateral ligaments were completely divided (the Wells procedure) in 16 patients and preserved (the Ripstein procedure) in 16 patients. Clinical and physiologic assessment were performed before and at 3, 6, and 12 months after operation.
RESULTS: Improvement of continence was similar. Bowel regulation problems which were unchanged after the Ripstein procedure increased significantly after the Wells procedure (P<0.01). Rectal volume became reduced in the group who received the Wells procedure (225 ml vs. 115 ml, P<0.05 at one year), but remained unchanged after receiving the Ripstein procedure. The pressure thresholds required to elicit sensation of rectal filling and defecation urge were increased after the Wells procedure (15 cm of H2O vs. 25 cm of H2O, P<0.05 and 25 cm of H2O vs. 45 cm of H2O, P<0.05, respectively). In the Ripstein group there was only a slight increase of the threshold for urge (P<0.05).
CONCLUSION: The Wells procedure was followed by severe rectal dysfunction accompanied by increased constipation and evacuation problems. The Ripstein procedure, preserving the lateral ligaments, appears not to affect such symptoms adversely. On the other hand, improvement is not likely to occur.
(C) The ASCRS 1994