Author(s): Baessler K, Schuessler B
OBJECTIVE: To assess the effect of abdominal sacrocolpopexy with obliteration of the pouch of Douglas on anatomy and function of the posterior compartment.
METHODS: We prospectively studied 33 consecutive women with pelvic organ prolapse who had abdominal sacrocolpopexies [expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (Gore-Tex)] with pouch of Douglas obliterations and posterior extensions of mesh, using a standardized questionnaire, urodynamic studies, pelvic floor fluoroscopies, and vaginal-rectal examinations (Baden-Walker classification). Concomitant colpoperineorrhaphy was done if rectoceles remained at rectovaginal examination at the end of sacrocolpopexy. The goal was to correct rectoceles transabdominally.
RESULTS: Thirty-one women returned for follow-up investigations after 12--48 months (mean 26 months). Mean age was 61 years (range 41--77 years). There was no recurrence of vaginal vault prolapse, enterocele, or anterior rectal wall prolapse. Among 28 preoperative rectoceles, 16 recurred (57%) and one occurred de novo. Defecation problems (outlet constipation) were present in 21 women (64%) preoperatively and persisted or were altered in 12 (57%) after sacrocolpopexy. Grade of rectocele was associated significantly with symptoms of outlet constipation preoperatively, but not postoperatively (P =.002).
CONCLUSION: Abdominal sacrocolpopexy with obliteration of the pouch of Douglas and posterior extension of the mesh was effective for vaginal vault prolapse, enterocele, and anterior rectal wall procidentia, but not concomitant rectocele. Twenty-eight percent of women described altered defecation with stool stopping higher in the rectosigmoid colon ("high outlet constipation"), which might have been caused by denervation during rectal mobilization.