Rectal endometriosis can cause debilitating symptoms. Rectal resection in this setting has been shown to improve symptoms; however, there remain some reservations about this intervention because of the risk of complications such as anastomotic leak and rectovaginal fistula.
The aim of this study is to review our experience with rectal resection in patients with rectal endometriosis.
Hospital records and prospectively maintained electronic databases of an endogynecologist and colorectal surgeon were reviewed.
This is a retrospective study of consecutive patients who underwent rectal resection for endometriosis from 2001 to 2010.
All patients underwent either disc or segmental resection of the rectum.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:
Outcomes of interest were operative complications and recurrence requiring surgical reintervention.
Ninety-one patients underwent 92 resections for endometriosis. Sixty-five (71%) were disc resections, 25 (27%) were segmental resections, and 1 patient underwent both disc and segmental resections. Eighty-one (88%) procedures were completed laparoscopically. Patients requiring segmental resection had more extensive disease, and this was associated with open conversion (p ≤ 0.0001). Average duration of procedure was 209 minutes. Three patients (3%) required defunctioning ileostomies. Intramural endometriosis was confirmed in 96.7% of specimens. Complications occurred in 13 patients (15%); 4 were minor. Three patients had small pelvic collections treated with antibiotics, 5 patients required transfusion for bleeding (3 intraoperative, 2 anastomotic bleeds that settled conservatively), and 1 patient sustained ureteric injury that was reimplanted with no sequelae. None had anastomotic leak or rectovaginal fistula. Ten patients (11%) required reintervention for recurrent symptoms. Of these, 8 (8.8%) patients were found to have recurrent endometriosis. No correlation could be found between involved margins on pathology and need for redo surgery.
This study is limited by its retrospective nature.
Laparoscopic rectal resection for deeply infiltrative endometriosis is feasible and safe, and it provides durable symptom control with acceptable recurrence rates.