Management of recurrent rectal prolapse: Surgical approach influences outcome

Scott R. Steele, Laura H. Goetz, Shigeki Minami, Robert D. Madoff, Anders F. Mellgren, Susan C. Parker

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

67 Scopus citations


INTRODUCTION: Recurrent rectal prolapse is an unresolved problem and the optimal treatment is debated. This study was designed to review patterns of care and outcomes in a large cohort of patients after surgery for recurrent prolapse. METHODS: From 685 patients who underwent operative repair for full-thickness external rectal prolapse, we identified 78 patients (70 females; mean age, 66.9 years) who underwent surgery for recurrence. We reviewed the subsequent management and outcomes for these 78 patients. RESULTS: Mean interval to their first recurrence was 33 (range, 1-168) months. There were significantly more re-recurrences after reoperation using a perineal procedure (19/51) compared with an abdominal procedure (4/27) for their recurrent rectal prolapse (P = 0.03) at a mean follow-up of nine (range, 1-82) months. Patients undergoing abdominal repair of recurrence were significantly younger than those who underwent perineal repair (mean age, 58.5 vs. 71.5 years; P < 0.01); however, there was nosignificant difference between the two groups with regard to the American Society of Anesthesiologists classification (P = 0.89). Eighteen patients had surgery for a second recurrence, with perineal repairs associated with higher failure rates (50 vs. 8 percent; P = 0.07). Finally, when combining all repairs, the abdominal approach continued to have significantly lower recurrence rates (39 vs. 13 percent; P < 0.01). CONCLUSIONS: The re-recurrence rate after surgery for recurrent rectal prolapse is high, even at a relatively short follow-up interval. Our data suggest that abdominal repair of recurrent rectal prolapse should be undertaken if the patient's risk profile permits this approach.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)440-445
Number of pages6
JournalDiseases of the colon and rectum
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2006


  • Procidentia
  • Rectal prolapse
  • Rectopexy
  • Rectosigmoidectomy
  • Recurrence


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