Laparoscopic Ventral Rectopexy
When is laparoscopic ventral rectopexy performed?
This is commonly performed for patients with external rectal prolapse or internal rectal prolapse causing obstructed defaecation syndrome (ODS). Patients with incontinence and internal or external prolapse may also benefit from the operation.
What other tests are necessary before the operation?
Patients undergoing this operation will usually have had a defaecating proctogram, transit studies, anorectal physiology and endoanal ultrasound. The patient will usually come up to hospital on the morning of the operation.
What does the operation involve?
The operation is performed under general anaesthetic by keyhole surgery. The surgeon then frees the rectum from the pelvis but operates only in front of the rectum and away from the nerves supplying the bowel and genitalia. A piece of mesh is stitched to the front of the rectum and this mesh is in turn secured to the sacrum (lower backbone). The effect of this is to pull the bowel up out of the pelvis and prevent it from telescoping down, restoring it to its normal anatomical position. There is more detail in the patient information leaflet on this website.
What is the recovery like after surgery?
Patients are typically in hospital for 24 - 48 hours after surgery. On the first morning after your operation, your catheter will come out and your drip will usually come down. You will be able to eat and drink. You will be discharged on laxatives (usually movicol) to continue for six weeks, to avoid constipation and straining in the first few weeks after surgery. You may be fit to drive or return to work after two weeks but should not do any lifting for at least six weeks.
Laparoscopic ventral rectopexy video