The approach to a patient with overt rectal prolapse remains controversial since the choice of the most appropriate technical option may be a difficult task. The different approaches are based upon patients’ age, comorbidities, sex, size of prolapse, associated incontinence, constipation, and urinary and genital disturbances. However, analysis of the literature failed to detect a significant evidence favoring one among the large number of those different surgical techniques proposed for the treatment of rectal prolapse. In fact, many randomized prospective controlled trials, comparing perineal and abdominal operations, rectopexy alone, resection alone and/or resection plus rectopexy could not find significant differences in terms of morbidity, mortality, improvement of incontinence or constipation, quality of life and recurrence. Therefore, without a clear-cut support by the literature, a pragmatic approach is necessary, applying common sense, experience and considering the availability of resources as well. Nevertheless, we may expect that definitive answers to many open questions about surgery of rectal prolapse may come from larger studies and longer follow-up.
Part of the book: Proctological Diseases in Surgical Practice