Purpose: The transanal endorectal pull-through (TERPT) is becoming the most popular procedure in the treatment of Hirschsprung disease (HD), but overstretching of the anal sphincters remains a critical issue that may impact the continence. This study examined the long-term outcome of TERPT versus conventional transabdominal (ABD) pull-through for HD.
Methods: Records of 41 patients more than 3 years old who underwent a pull-through for HD (TERPT, n = 20; ABD, n = 21) were reviewed, and their families were thoroughly interviewed and scored via a 15-item post-pull-through long-term outcome questionnaire. Patients were operated on between the years 1995 and 2003. During this time, our group transitioned from the ABD to the TERPT technique. Total scoring ranged from 0 to 40: 0 to 10, excellent; 11 to 20 good; 21 to 30 fair; 31 to 40 poor. A 2-tailed Student t test, analysis of covariance, as well as logistic and linear regression were used to analyze the collected data with confidence interval higher than 95%.
Results: Overall scores were similar. However, continence score was significantly better in the ABD group, and the stool pattern score was better in the TERPT group. A significant difference in age at interview between the 2 groups was noted; we therefore reanalyzed the data controlling for age, and this showed that age did not significantly affect the long-term scoring outcome between groups.
Conclusion: Our long-term study showed significantly better (2-fold) results regarding the continence score for the abdominal approach compared with the transanal pull-through. The stool pattern and enterocolitis scores were somewhat better for the TERPT group. These findings raise an important issue about the current surgical management of HD; however, more cases will need to be studied before a definitive conclusion can be drawn.