Outcomes for men undergoing rectal prolapse surgery - a systematic review

Colorectal Dis. 2023 Jun;25(6):1116-1127. doi: 10.1111/codi.16534. Epub 2023 Mar 18.


Aim: Rectal prolapse is considered rare in men but the prevalence can be high in certain populations. It is unclear which surgical approach offers lower recurrence rates and better functional outcomes in men. The aim of this work was to determine the recurrence rates, complications and functional outcomes after prolapse surgery in men.

Method: The MEDLINE, EMBASE and Scopus databases were systematically searched to identify studies on outcomes following surgical management of full-thickness rectal prolapse in men (over 18 years of age) published between 1951 and September 2022. Outcomes of interest included recurrence rate after surgery, bowel function, urinary function, sexual function and postoperative complications.

Results: Twenty-eight studies involving 1751 men were included. Two papers focused exclusively on men. Twelve studies employed a mixture of abdominal approaches, ten employed perineal approaches and six compared both. The recurrence rate varied across studies, ranging from 0% to 34%. Sexual and urinary function were poorly reported, but the incidence of dysfunction appears low.

Conclusion: The outcomes of rectal prolapse surgery in men are poorly studied with small sample sizes and variable outcomes reported. There is insufficient evidence to recommend a specific repair approach based on the recurrence rate and functional outcomes. Further studies are required to identify the optimal surgical approach for rectal prolapse in men.

Keywords: external rectal prolapse; recurrence; sexual function; surgical procedure; systematic review.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Defecation
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Perineum / surgery
  • Postoperative Complications / epidemiology
  • Postoperative Complications / etiology
  • Rectal Prolapse* / complications
  • Rectal Prolapse* / surgery
  • Recurrence
  • Treatment Outcome