Clinical and Physiologic Outcomes After Transvaginal Rectocele Repair

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Abstract

Purpose:

This study was designed to evaluate the clinical and physiologic outcomes after transvaginal rectocele repair.

Methods:

Between June 2000 and January 2003, 30 females (mean age, 62 (range, 45-78) years) with a symptomatic large rectocele (>3 cm) underwent transvaginal rectocele repair (anterior levatorplasty). Six months after surgery, a physiologic evaluation was performed by using defecography (depth of rectocele) and anorectal manometry (maximum resting pressure, maximum squeeze pressure, rectal threshold, and maximum tolerable volume). Using a questionnaire, a clinical evaluation was performed one year after surgery to analyze symptoms, including difficult evacuation, digital support, sexual discomfort, as well as patient satisfaction. Follow-up of all patients was conducted during a median duration of 38 (range, 23-54) months.

Results:

There were no operative complications, such as hematoma, wound infection, or rectovaginal fistula.Difficult evacuation improved in 27 of 30 patients (90 percent) and completely disappeared in 9 patients. Postoperatively, digital support was no longer necessary during evacuation in 15 of 21 patients (71 percent). Overall patient satisfaction reached 25 of 30 (83 percent). Although mild sexual discomfort was observed in nine patients, it disappeared gradually and only one patient complained of persistent symptoms. No patient reported symptomatic recurrences at the end of the follow-up. The radiologic mean depth of the rectocele was significantly reduced: preoperative, 3.9 cm; postoperative, 0.5 cm. None of the physiologic parameters significantly changed after surgery.

Conclusions:

Transvaginal rectocele repair can provide excellent long-term symptomatic relief and a high rate of patient satisfaction without any alteration in anorectal physiologic function.

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