Time trend in the surgical management of obstructed defecation syndrome: a multicenter experience on behalf of the Italian Society of Colorectal Surgery (SICCR)

Tech Coloproctol. 2022 Dec;26(12):963-971. doi: 10.1007/s10151-022-02705-x. Epub 2022 Sep 14.


Background: Surgical management of obstructed defecation syndrome (ODS) is challenging, with several surgical options showing inconsistent functional results over time. The aim of this study was to evaluate the trend in surgical management of ODS in a 10-year timeframe across Italian referral centers.

Methods: Surgeons from referral centers for the management of pelvic floor disorders and affiliated to the Italian Society of Colorectal Surgery provided data on the yearly volume of procedures for ODS from 2010 to 2019. Six common clinical scenarios of ODS were captured, including details on patient's anal sphincter function and presence of rectocele and/or rectal intussusception. Perineal repair, ventral rectopexy (VRP), transanal repair (internal Delorme), stapled transanal rectal resection (STARR), Contour Transtar, and transvaginal repair were considered in each clinical scenario.

Results: Twenty-five centers were included providing data on 2943 surgical patients. Procedure volumes ranged from 10-20 (54%) to 21-50 (46%) per year across centers. The most performed techniques in patients with good sphincter function were transanal repair for isolated rectocele (243/716 [34%]), transanal repair for isolated rectal intussusception (287/677 [42%]) and VRP for combined abnormalities (464/976 [48%]). When considering poor sphincter function, these were perineal repair (112/194 [57.8%]) for isolated rectocele, and VRP for the other two scenarios (60/120 [50%] and 97/260 [37%], respectively). The use of STARR and Contour Transtar decreased over time in patients with impaired sphincter function.

Conclusions: The complexity of ODS treatment is confirmed by the variety of clinical scenarios that can occur and by the changing trend of surgical management over the last 10 years.

Keywords: Constipation; ODS; Obstructed defecation syndrome; Rectopexy; Transanal.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Colorectal Surgery*
  • Constipation / etiology
  • Constipation / surgery
  • Defecation
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intussusception* / complications
  • Intussusception* / surgery
  • Rectocele / complications
  • Rectocele / surgery
  • Rectum / surgery
  • Surgical Stapling / methods
  • Syndrome
  • Treatment Outcome