Background: Diversion of the fecal stream with or without primary repair has been the mainstay of therapy for rectal injuries. Because primary repair has replaced colostomy as the treatment of choice for most colon injuries, we reviewed our experience with primary repair of rectal injuries in order to determine if primary repair without diversion is a feasible option in selected patients.
Materials and methods: All traumatic rectal injuries over the past 48 months were reviewed for mechanism of injury, diagnosis, treatment, and outcome.
Results: Thirty consecutive patients with extraperitoneal rectal injuries were identified. Six of the 30 patients underwent primary repair without diversion. Five were repaired transanally, and 1 was repaired at celiotomy. There was no morbidity related to the rectal repair in patients who underwent primary repair without diversion, and there were no deaths.
Conclusions: Based on a small number of patients, these data suggest that primary repair of rectal injuries in selected patients may be feasible. Further prospective investigation is needed to determine which patients may be successfully treated in this fashion.