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Resolution of Rectal Prolapse by Vaginal Reconstruction

Devakumar, Hemikaa MD; Chandrasekaran, Neeraja MD; Alas, Alexandriah MD; Martin, Laura DO; Davila, G. Willy MD; Hurtado, Eric MD

Female Pelvic Medicine & Reconstructive Surgery: January/February 2017 - Volume 23 - Issue 1 - p e4–e7
doi: 10.1097/SPV.0000000000000354
Case Reports

Background: Rectal prolapse is a disorder of the pelvic floor in which the layers of the rectal mucosa protrude outward through the anus. Surgical repair is the mainstay of treatment. Options include intra-abdominal procedures such as rectopexy and perineal procedures such as the Delorme and Altemeier perineal rectosigmoidectomy. Rectal and vaginal prolapse can often coexist. However, to our knowledge, there are no reported cases of rectal prolapse resolved by the repair of a compressive enterocele abutting the anterior rectal wall through a vaginal approach alone. We present a novel case of rectal prolapse that resolved by correction of the vaginal defect.

Case: A 53-year-old female with prior history of abdominal hysterectomy, presented to the urogynecology clinic with complaints of vaginal bulge, urge urinary incontinence, and rectal bulge on straining with no fecal incontinence for several years. On physical examination, she was found to have stage 2 anterior, posterior, and apical vaginal prolapse and reducible rectal prolapse. Colorectal surgery (CRS) evaluation was requested, which revealed minimal anterior mucosal prolapse on Valsalva with no full-thickness prolapse. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) defecogram was performed, which demonstrated a large rectocele, enterocele, and small bowel prolapsing between the rectum and vagina during the evacuation phase, with no rectal prolapse. The decision to proceed with vaginal prolapse surgery without concomitant rectal prolapse repair was made, as the patient had no fecal incontinence, and the degree of rectal prolapse was minimal. On the day of surgery, which was 2 months later, she presented with a 2-cm anterior rectal prolapse with no incontinence. Colorectal surgery was consulted again, but unavailable. After counseling, the patient wished to proceed with her planned surgery. It was felt that correcting the anterior rectocele and enterocele, thereby eliminating the descent of the bowel on the anterior rectal wall, might cause resolution of the rectal prolapse. She then underwent a sacrospinous ligament fixation with mesh through an anterior vaginal approach, enterocele repair, Moschcowitz culdoplasty, and posterior colporraphy. She had an uneventful postoperative course and noted resolution of both vaginal and rectal prolapse. At 54 weeks, she continues without any complaints of rectal prolapse, which was confirmed on physical examination.

Conclusions: Usually, the choice of surgical approach is tailored to each individual based on anatomy, age, comorbidity, and patient factors. Correcting both vaginal and rectal prolapse at the same time with a minimally invasive approach is an advantage to the patient. Restoring the apical, anterior, and posterior vaginal wall anatomy and an enterocele repair through the vaginal route caused resolution of the rectal prolapse. Further research is required as to whether rectal prolapse caused by anterior rectal compression needs an additional procedure or repair of the vaginal prolapse and enterocele alone will suffice.

Anterior rectal mucosal prolapse corrected by vaginal vault suspension and vaginal enterocele repair by Moschocowitz Culdoplasty.

From the Division of Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery, Department of Gynecology, Cleveland Clinic Florida, Weston, FL.

Reprints: Hemikaa Devakumar, MD, Division of Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery, Department of Gynecology, Cleveland Clinic Florida, 2950 Cleveland Clinic Blvd, Weston, FL 33321. E-mail:

Presented at the Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine 2016 Student Research Symposium and Annual Student and Faculty Awards at Florida International University in Miami, Florida, April 2016.

The authors declare that they have nothing to disclose.

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