Aim: Solitary rectal ulcer syndrome (SRUS) is uncommon and its management is controversial. The aim of this study was to evaluate the outcome of patients with SRUS who underwent laparoscopic ventral rectopexy (LVR).
Method: A review was performed of a prospective database at the Oxford Pelvic Floor Centre to identify patients between 2004 and 2012 with a histological diagnosis of SRUS. All were initially treated conservatively and surgical treatment was indicated only for patients with significant symptoms after failed conservative management. The primary end-point was healing of the ulcer. Secondary end-points included changes in the Wexner Constipation Score and Faecal Incontinence Severity Index (FISI).
Results: Thirty-six patients with SRUS were identified (31 women), with a median age of 44 (15–81) years. The commonest symptoms were rectal bleeding (75%) and obstructed defaecation (64%). The underlying anatomical diagnosis was internal rectal prolapse (n = 20), external rectal prolapse (n = 14) or anismus (n = 2). Twenty-nine patients underwent LVR and one a stapled transanal rectal resection (STARR) procedure. Nine (30%) required a further operation, six required posterior STARR for persistent SRUS and two a per-anal stricturoplasty for a narrowing at the healed SRUS site. Healing of the SRU was seen in 27 (90%) of the 30 patients and was associated with significant improvements in Wexner and FISI scores at a 3-year follow-up.
Conclusion: Almost all cases of SRUS in the present series were associated with rectal prolapse. LVR resulted in successful healing of the SRUS with good function in almost all patients, but a significant number will require further surgery such as STARR for persistent obstructed defaecation.