Surgery for constipation: systematic review and practice recommendations: Results III: Rectal wall excisional procedures (Rectal Excision)

the NIHR CapaCiTY working group, The Pelvic floor Society

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Aim: To assess the outcomes of rectal excisional procedures in adults with chronic constipation. Method: Standardised methods and reporting of benefits and harms were used for all CapaCiTY reviews that closely adhered to PRISMA 2016 guidance. Main conclusions were presented as summary evidence statements with a summative Oxford Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine (2009) level. Results: Forty-seven studies were identified, providing data on outcomes in 8340 patients. Average length of procedures was 44 min and length of stay (LOS) was 3 days. There was inadequate evidence to determine variations in procedural duration or LOS by type of procedure. Overall morbidity rate was 16.9% (0–61%), with lower rates observed after Contour Transtar procedure (8.9%). No mortality was reported after any procedures in a total of 5896 patients. Although inconsistently reported, good or satisfactory outcome occurred in 73–80% of patients; a reduction of 53–91% in Longo scoring system for obstructive defecation syndrome (ODS) occurred in about 68–76% of patients. The most common long-term adverse outcome is faecal urgency, typically occurring in up to 10% of patients. Recurrent prolapse occurred in 4.3% of patients. Patients with at least 3 ODS symptoms together with a rectocoele with or without an intussusception, who have failed conservative management, may benefit from a rectal excisional procedure. Conclusion: Rectal excisional procedures are safe with little major morbidity. It is not possible to advise which excisional technique is superior from the point of view of efficacy, peri-operative variables, or harms. Future study is required.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-72
Number of pages24
JournalColorectal disease
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2017


  • constipation
  • rectal excision
  • surgery

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