Background: Rectal prolapse (RP) is primarily a disease of the elderly, where treatment may be associated with significant postoperative morbidity including that related to anesthesia. Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate the safety and feasibility of a novel abdominal approach to RP repair under sedation and local anesthesia and to assess short- and long-term clinical outcomes in elderly patients (>70 years). Design Settings: This is a prospective pilot study with 10 patients using a novel RP repair. The anesthesia type was local or epidural with sedation. Follow-up was done at 30 days, 12, and 24 months. Patients: Patients were men and women >70 years of age with RP. Main Outcome Measures: (1) Feasibility: successful completion of RP repair using the novel abdominal approach with laparoscopic assistance. (2) Safety: safety was measured by the incidence of the intraoperative complications (bowel perforation, organ injury, and bleeding requiring blood transfusion). (3) Sedation and local anesthesia feasibility: surgery was safely completed without patient intubation. Results: Ten female patients >70 years of age underwent RP repair using the novel abdominal approach. General anesthesia was not required in any of the 10 patients. Two patients recurred within 6 months. One of the patients with recurrence of RP subsequently underwent laparoscopic rectopexy, and the other was minimal and required no further treatment. One mortality occurred at 3 months unrelated to the procedure. No other anesthetic or surgical intraoperative and postoperative complications were observed. Limitations: This is a single-institution pilot study. Conclusions: Abdominal RP repair under sedation and regional anesthesia appears feasible and safe in elderly patients and may, in the future, provide an effective alternative to current treatment options for RP, avoiding general anesthesia. ClinicalTrial.gov registration number: NCT01980043.
Keywords: new techniques; rectal prolapse; surgery.