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Surg Endosc. 2005 Apr;19(4):514-8. Epub 2005 Mar 11.

Laparoscopic rectopexy for full-thickness rectal prolapse: a single-institution retrospective study evaluating surgical outcome.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, Yves Le Foll Hospital, 10 Rue Marcel Proust, 22023, Saint Brieuc, France. david.lechaux@wanadoo.fr



The laparoscopic approach promises to become the gold standard for the transabdominal management of full-thickness rectal prolapse. The aim of this study was to review our experience and to highlight the functional results achieved with this new technique.


Forty-eight patients with full-thickness external prolapse underwent laparoscopic repair between February 1997 and February 2003. All patients underwent preoperative evaluation of their rectal function. Patients with isolated rectal ulcer without prolapse or with internal prolapse and patients deemed by the anesthesiologist to be unfit for general anesthesia were excluded from the study. The laparoscopic technique was either a mesh rectopexy without resection (n = 35) or a suture rectopexy with sigmoid resection (n = 13). Patients with intractable constipation preceding the development of the rectal prolapse were advised to have a resection-rectopexy. In the postoperative follow-up, attention was paid to mortality, morbidity, recurrent prolapse, incontinence, and constipation. Follow-up was done by clinical review and postal questionnaire.


There were no deaths and no septic or anastomotic complications. The postoperative morbidity rate was 5%. Oral intake was started on postoperative day 1. Discharge from the hospital was on postoperative day 4 in patients without sigmoid resection and on postoperative day 7 in patients with sigmoid resection. Two patients (4%) developed recurrent total prolapse during a median follow-up period of 36 +/- 15 months (range, 7-77). The functional results were good or excellent in 72% of the cases, without digitations or dyschesia. Continence was improved in 31% of the patients and remains unchanged in 64% of them. In 11 patients (23%), constipation was worsened by the procedure.


Laparoscopic rectopexy with or without resection is both safe and effective. Advantages include low-morbidity, improved cosmesis, the rapid return of intestinal function, early discharge from hospital, and a low recurrence rate. The fecal continence score is improved; however, constipation is frequently worsened.

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