PURPOSE: To determine the outcomes of patients after transanal rectocele repair.
METHODS: The Birmingham Bowel and Urinary Symptoms Questionnaire (BBUSQ-22), a validated instrument to evaluate bowel and urinary symptoms, was completed preoperatively by all patients undergoing transanal rectocele repair and postoperatively at a median interval of 8 months. The BBUSQ-22 was also administered to a control group of 50 asymptomatic female patients. The preoperative and postoperative BBUSQ-22 results for the 9 items pertaining to bowel function were compared to each other and to the responses from the control group.
RESULTS: Between April 1, 2001 and December 31, 2003, 88 women underwent transanal rectocele repair. Compared to the control group, patients with rectocele were significantly more symptomatic on all of the questions except the ability to hold bowel movements longer than 5 minutes. A significant improvement was reported postoperatively in all areas except pain with bowel movement and ability to hold bowel movements longer than 5 minutes. When the postoperative responses were compared to the control group, there were no significant differences except for a more frequent need for digital assistance and painful defecation in the surgical group.
CONCLUSION: Transanal rectocele repair results in significant improvement in defecation and continence, with postoperative bowel function comparable to control patients in 7 of the 9 areas evaluated.