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Dis Colon Rectum. 1997 Jul;40(7):835-9.

Long-term results of total pelvic floor repair for postobstetric fecal incontinence.

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University Department of Surgery, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham, United Kingdom.



This study was designed to assess the long-term results of total pelvic floor repair for postobstetric neuropathic fecal incontinence.


Sixty-three of 75 women who had undergone total pelvic floor repair for postobstetric neuropathic fecal incontinence were traced and interviewed a median of 36 (18-78) months after surgery. Thirty-nine patients agreed to repeat anorectal physiology.


Six patients required further surgery for persistent incontinence (colostomy, 4; graciloplasty, 2). For the remaining 57 patients, incontinence improved greatly in 28 (49 percent) patients, mildly in 13 (23 percent), and not at all in 16 (28 percent); daily incontinence was present in 41 patients (73 percent) before the operation but persisted in 13 (23 percent). Only eight (14 percent) patients were rendered completely continent; those with marked improvement were socially more active than those with little or no improvement. Resting and maximum squeeze pressures, anal canal sensation, rectal sensation, and pudendal nerve terminal motor latency did not predict outcome. Perineal descent, obesity, and a history of straining before the operation were all associated with a poor outcome.


Total pelvic floor repair rarely renders patients with postobstetric neuropathic fecal incontinence completely continent but substantially improves continence and lifestyle in approximately one-half of them. The operation is less successful in obese patients and in those with a history of straining or perineal descent.

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