Perineal rectosigmoidectomy for rectal prolapse: the preferred procedure for the unfit elderly patient? 10 years’ experience from a UK tertiary centre

M. Alwahid, S. R. Knight, H. Wadhawan, K. L. Campbell, D. Ziyaie, S. Koch (Lead / Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
184 Downloads (Pure)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1065-1072
Number of pages8
JournalTechniques in Coloproctology
Issue number11
Early online date13 Nov 2019
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2019


  • Rectal prolapse
  • Perineal rectosigmoidectomy
  • Altemeier
  • Age

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology
  • Surgery


Dive into the research topics of 'Perineal rectosigmoidectomy for rectal prolapse: the preferred procedure for the unfit elderly patient? 10 years’ experience from a UK tertiary centre'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this