Posterior Compartment Surgery Provides No Differential Benefit for Defecatory Symptoms Before or After Concomitant Mesh-Augmented Apical Suspension

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The aim of this study was to determine the value of posterior compartment surgery during concomitant mesh-augmented apical suspension by comparing obstructed defecatory symptoms after laparoscopic sacrocolpopexy (LSC) with LSC with posterior repair (LSC + PR) and laparoscopic sacrocolpoperineopexy (LSCP) procedures.


This was a retrospective cohort study of women who underwent LSC, LSC + PR, and LSCP between July 2007 and July 2016 at a tertiary referral center in Indianapolis, Ind. Our primary outcome was differential change in Colorectal-Anal Distress Inventory (CRADI-8) and Colorectal-Anal Impact Questionnaire (CRAIQ-7) scores between the groups including patient-specific symptoms of splinting, straining, incomplete emptying, and pain with defecation. Our secondary outcomes were the rates of postoperative persistent, new, and resolved obstructed defecation symptoms. Anatomic outcomes were also compared between the groups as measured by change in Pelvic Organ Prolapse Quantification System points Ap, GH, and PB.


A total of 312 women were included in the study (47 LSC, 133 LSC + PR, and 132 LSCP), with a median follow-up time of 366 days. The majority of patients who underwent surgery had stage III pelvic organ prolapse (61%). Baseline demographics were similar between groups, including preoperative CRADI-8 and CRAIQ-7 scores. All surgical groups demonstrated improvement in CRADI-8 and CRAIQ-7 scores postoperatively (P < 0.001). However, despite differential change in Pelvic Organ Prolapse Quantification System points Ap, GH, and PB, there was no change in CRADI-8 and CRAIQ-7 scores or rates of persistent, new, and resolved symptoms of splinting to defecate, incomplete emptying, and pain with defecation between the groups. The only factor that seemed to be differentially improved by the addition of a posterior compartment repair was postoperative straining. There was a greater rate of de novo straining in the LSC group compared with LSCP (P = 0.01) (LSC + PR v LSCP, P = NS, for both).


We cannot recommend posterior compartment surgery as providing any patient-centered benefit beyond improved cosmesis because the addition of perineal body stabilization either before (LSCP) or posterior repair after (LSC + PR) concomitant mesh-augmented apical suspension did not differentially affect bowel symptoms compared with LSC alone.

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