PURPOSE: The aim of this study was to determine the long-term symptomatic and anatomic results of rectocele repair for impaired defecation.
METHODS: All 26 females operated on during a five-year period in one hospital were reviewed in clinic. Follow-up was available on 22 patients after a median of 27 (range, 5-54) months. Interview, anorectal physiological testing, and evacuation proctography were performed preoperatively and postoperatively. Fifteen patients had a transperineal repair and seven patients had a transanal repair.
RESULTS: Sixteen (73 percent) patients felt improved. A feeling of incomplete emptying (19 vs. 10, preoperative vs. postoperative; P =0.02) and the need to use digital assistance vaginally (13 vs. 6; P =0.07) were both reduced by surgery, the former being improved significantly more often after transperineal repair. The rectocele width and area were reduced by both types of surgery; however, the rectocele diameter was greater than 2 cm in 16 patients preoperatively and 10 patients postoperatively. There was no significant difference between patients who did or did not feel improved by surgery in the percentage reduction in rectocele width (22 vs. 18 percent; P =0.95), the percentage reduction in rectocele area (65 vs. 62 percent; P =0.95), or a rectocele width of more than 2 cm (44 vs. 50 percent; P =0.80), did vs. did not feel improved, respectively.
CONCLUSION: Operative repair symptomatically improves a majority of patients with impaired defecation associated with a large rectocele, but the improvement probably relates at least in part to factors other than the dimensions of the rectocele.
(C) The ASCRS 1999