Long-Term Outcomes After Overlapping Sphincteroplasty for Cloacal-Like Deformities

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The aim of this study was to report subjective, long-term outcomes and describe patient demographics, presenting symptoms, perioperative management, and complications after overlapping sphincteroplasty repair for chronic fourth-degree lacerations (cloacal-like deformities).


In this retrospective study, hospital records were reviewed for women who underwent overlapping anal sphincteroplasty for a cloacal-like deformity of the perineum at a single institution from 1996 to 2013. Details including patient demographics, presenting symptoms, perioperative management, and complications were abstracted from the medical record. As a follow-up, subjects were contacted by telephone and were administered the validated Modified Manchester Health Questionnaire to assess anal continence status and anal incontinence-related quality of life since the time of surgery.


Of 57 women who underwent an anal sphincteroplasty within the study period, 29 met inclusion criteria. Median parity was 3 (range, 1–7) and 24.5% reported a history of forceps or vacuum-assisted vaginal delivery. Presenting symptoms included fecal incontinence (58.6%), flatal incontinence (41%), sexual dysfunction (20.7%), and poor body self-image (3.4%). Thirteen (45%) women could be contacted by telephone and all agreed to participate. Overall, 46.2% of the 13 women who completed the Modified Manchester Health Questionnaire reported some form anal of incontinence, whereas 53.8% reported complete continence at a mean follow-up of 7.0 ± 3.6 years. Perioperative morbidity was uncommon, and postoperative antibiotics were used in 75.9% of cases for a median duration of 8.8 ± 3.3 days.


Perioperative morbidity after overlapping sphincteroplasty for cloacal-like deformities after obstetrical injury is rare. Although long-term complete anal continence may be difficult to achieve in all cases, good quality of life measures and low symptom severity were noted at a mean interval of 7 years after surgery.

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