What is rectal prolapse?
A laparoscopic rectopexy is a minimally invasive technique to repair a prolapsed rectum.
Rectal prolapse is a protrusion of the rectum (end chamber of the large intestine where feces collect before release by the anal sphincter) is called rectal prolapse. Rectal prolapse is thought to occur due to the loss or weakness of the normal support structures for the rectum.
Patients with rectal prolapse have symptoms such as:
- Change in bowel habits
- Rectal bleeding
- Mucus drainage
- Anorectal pain
- Fecal incontinence (inability to control bowel movements)
What is laparoscopic ventral mesh rectopexy?
Laparoscopic rectopexy is a surgery to repair rectal prolapse. In this surgery, the rectum is restored to its normal position by using ventral mesh.
- This procedure is done under general anesthesia, and vitals are monitored throughout.
- The surgeon will make a small cut (about 1/2 inch) near the belly button. A laparoscope will be inserted into the abdomen through this incision. Images taken by the laparoscope will be projected onto monitors.
- Once the laparoscope is in place, the surgeon usually makes several smaller incisions in the abdomen. The number and position of these incisions depend on the size and shape of your abdomen, the preference of the surgeon, and other factors.
- Long, thin surgical instruments will then be placed through these incisions to complete the surgery.
- The surgeon will begin the surgery by locating the colon and rectum (parts of the large intestine).
- Next, the rectum will be freed from its surrounding structures and gently lifted into its original position.
- Stitches will be placed around the rectum to secure it in place. Mesh may be used along with the stitches to hold the rectum in its position. In some cases, the surgeon may remove a portion of your colon.
- Finally, the area will be rinsed, and the incisions will be closed by dissolvable stitches.
How long is rectopexy surgery?
Rectopexy surgery is one of the major abdominal surgeries. Usually, the procedure is done under 60 minutes, however, in rare cases, it may extend up to 120 minutes depending on complications.
What are the risks of rectopexy surgery?
Rectal prolapse surgery carries serious risks that vary depending on the surgical technique. Below are a few common risks involved with the procedure:
- Bowel obstruction
- Damage to nearby structures, such as nerves and organs
- Narrowing (stricture) of the anal opening
- Fistula: an abnormal connection between two body parts, such as the rectum and anus
- Recurrence of rectal prolapse
- Development of new or worsened constipation
- Mesh erosion
- Hernia (protrusion of organs)
What are the results of rectopexy surgery?
In most people, rectal prolapse surgery relieves symptoms and improves constipation and fecal incontinence. However, in some cases, constipation can worsen or become a problem when it was not one before surgery.
Recurrence of rectal prolapse after surgery occurs in about 2-5% of people. The incidence of complications is less in a laparoscopic procedure.