Background: Rectal prolapse is a disease presentation with a prevalence of about 1%, mainly affecting older women. It usually presents with symptoms of rectal mass, rectal bleeding, fecal incontinence or constipation, with patients frequently feeling socially isolated as a result. Perineal rectosigmoidectomy is associated with lesser morbidity and mortality than the abdominal procedure, but with a much higher recurrence rate. Therefore, this technique is mainly suitable for the frail elderly patient. Specific outcomes in an elderly population have been described in only a few studies. We evaluated the morbidity, mortality, recurrence rate and functional results after this procedure related to age.
Methods: All patients who underwent a perineal rectosigmoidectomy over a 10-year period in two tertiary referral centers were included in the study. American Society of Anesthesiology (ASA) grade, pre- and postoperative symptoms, pathology-reported post-fixation specimen length, length of in-patient stay, 30-day morbidity/mortality, and recurrence were measured.
Results: A total of 45 patients underwent a perineal rectosigmoidectomy. Forty-three (95%) were female, with a median age of 82.0 years (IQR 70.5–86.5), ASA grade III and median follow-up of 20 months (range 8.5–45.5 months). Half of the cohort was over 80 years old. Significant symptomatic relief was achieved, predominantly the resolution of rectal mass (8.9% vs. 60.0% preoperatively), fecal incontinence (15.6% vs. 46.7%) and constipation (4.4% vs. 26.7%). The median length of stay was 6 days, while morbidity occurred in 14 patients (31.1%) and recurrence occurred in 6 patients (13%). There were no deaths within 30 days of the procedure and outcomes were comparable in the < 80 and ≥ 80 age group.
Conclusions: Perineal rectosigmoidectomy is safe for older patients with greater comorbidities resulting in good functional results and is associated with low morbidity and mortality.
- Rectal prolapse
- Perineal rectosigmoidectomy