Background : Laparoscopic rectopexy offers the advantages of the open transabdominal approach while decreasing the surgical comorbidity. The aim of this prospective study was to assess the clinical and functional outcome of laparoscopic Wells procedure for full-thickness rectal prolapse. Methods Between 1999 and 2005, 77 patients underwent laparoscopic modified Wells procedure for full-thickness rectal prolapse. The patients were evaluated postoperatively for resolution of their prolapse and functional outcome, as well as for their satisfaction level regarding the procedure.
Results : Laparoscopy was successful in all but one case. There were no major intra- or postoperative complications and the mean hospital stay was 4.9 days. Approximately half of the patients had some degree of fecal incontinence preoperatively. At long-term follow up, 89 percent experienced alleviation of symptoms. Constipation was improved in 36% of cases. Eighteen percent of the patients suffered a new onset of constipation. Recurrent prolapse was observed in one patient. Ninety percent of the patients were satisfied at long-term follow-up.
Conclusion : The laparoscopic Wells procedure for rectal prolapse had good functional results, a low recurrence rate and proved to be a feasible and safe procedure. Postoperative constipation remains a problem, which should be solved.