For more information on what a rectocoele is please click here.
WHAT IS A RECTOCOELE REPAIR?
This is an operation in which the bulge between your rectum (bowel) and vagina is strengthened.
WHICH RECTOCOELES SHOULD BE REPAIRED?
The decision about whether to repair a rectocoele depends on its size and whether it is causing symptoms. Typical symptoms include the sensation of a bulge at the back of the vagina, a feeling that stools are going the wrong way (towards the vagina), the need to push on a pocket at the back of the vagina to empty the bowel fully and of leakage after opening the bowel.
WHICH OPERATION SHOULD BE PERFORMED FOR A RECTOCOELE?
The choice of operation depends on whether the rectocoele is the only problem or if there are other problems too.
If the rectocoele is thought to be the only problem, or when the rectocoele is the only remaining problem after other surgery (e.g after rectopexy), an Anterior Delormes procedure may be recommended.
If you also have an intussusception (internal rectal prolapse) and/or an enterocoele, your surgeon might talk to you about performing a laparoscopic ventral rectopexy operation. Whether this is the best option for you depends on the size and degree of the defects, and if you have had previous abdominal surgery. Sometimes a laparoscopic ventral rectopexy corrects the intussusception but does not completely get rid of the rectocoele.
If you have a rectocoele with intussusception but without prolapse of the complete bowel wall, a STAMP procedure may be performed. This is an alternative for correction of early prolapse and rectocoele without the use of mesh.
Rectocoele repairs are also performed by gynaecologists. Instead of performing the surgery through the anus, they work from the inside of the vagina. Multiple studies show that the long term results from both procedures are similar, except that a slightly higher percentage of women develop dyspareunia (pain on sexual intercourse) when the surgery is performed through the vagina, especially if mesh is implanted.
If your anal muscles are too weak to safely perform a procedure from inside the bowel this might be the best option for you.
Your surgeon is always happy to discuss the option of referral to a gynaecologist with you when appropriate.
Please be advised that the information on this website is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment