Laparoscopic Anterior Rectopexy to the Promontory for Full-Thickness Rectal Prolapse in 175 Consecutive Patients: Short- and Long-term Follow-up

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There are multiple procedures to treat full-thickness rectal prolapse. No consensus exists as to the best surgical option. All procedures have a significant recurrence rate.


The aim of this study was to report short- and long-term technical results following laparoscopic removal of the Douglas pouch peritoneum and anterior rectopexy in patients with total rectal prolapse.


This study is a prospective evaluation of consecutive patients.


This investigation was conducted at a single academic colorectal unit.


Between May 1996 and June 2009, 175 consecutive patients (17 males) with a mean age of 58 years (range, 16–94) were operated on.


The Douglas pouch peritoneum was excised, 2 synthetic meshes were fixated to the anterior part of the lower rectum with five 4-mm staples and to the promontory with 3 spiked chromium staples, and the peritoneum was closed over the meshes to isolate them from the abdominal cavity.


Patients were reviewed at months 1, 6, 12, and then annually. Mortality, morbidity, and recurrence were analyzed. Median follow-up was 74 months (range, 24–181). Recurrence rate was calculated according to the Kaplan-Meier method.


There was no mortality. Morbidity (5.1%) consisted in temporary brachial plexus palsy in 2 cases, urinary infection in 3 cases, ureteral lesion in 1 patient having had a previous bone graft on the promontory for spondylolisthesis (JJ catheter), and perforation of the small bowel because of adhesions (laparoscopic suture) in 1 case. One patient presented with a rectal erosion at month 9 (transanal removal of the mesh). Two patients presented with a recurrence of the rectal prolapse at months 6 and 24 (recurrence rate of 3% at 5 years) that was treated with anal artificial sphincter in one and redo operation in the other.


Laparoscopic removal of the Douglas pouch peritoneum and rectopexy to the promontory is a safe and efficient procedure to treat full-thickness rectal prolapse.

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