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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Early rectal stenosis following stapled rectal mucosectomy for hemorrhoids

Sven Petersen*, Gunter Hellmich, Dietrich Schumann, Anja Schuster and Klaus Ludwig

Author affiliations

Department of General- and Abdominal Surgery, General Hospital Dresden-Friedrichstadt, Teaching Hospital Technical University of Dresden, Dresden Germany

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Citation and License

BMC Surgery 2004, 4:6  doi:10.1186/1471-2482-4-6

Published: 21 May 2004

Abstract

Background

Within the last years, stapled rectal mucosectomy (SRM) has become a widely accepted procedure for second and third degree hemorrhoids. One of the delayed complications is a stenosis of the lower rectum. In order to evaluate the specific problem of rectal stenosis following SRM we reviewed our data with special respect to potential predictive factors or stenotic events.

Methods

A retrospective analysis of 419 consecutive patients, which underwent SRM from December 1998 to August 2003 was performed. Only patients with at least one follow-up check were evaluated, thus the analysis includes 289 patients with a mean follow-up of 281 days (±18 days).

For statistic analysis the groups with and without stenosis were evaluated using the Chi-Square Test, using the Kaplan-Meier statistic the actuarial incidence for rectal stenosis was plotted.

Results

Rectal stenosis was observed in 9 patients (3.1%), eight of these stenoses were detected within the first 100 days after surgery; the median time to stenosis was 95 days. Only one patient had a rectal stenosis after more than one year. 8 of the 9 patients had no obstructive symptoms, however the remaining patients complained of obstructive defecation and underwent surgery for transanal strictureplasty with electrocautery. A statistical analysis revealed that patients with stenosis had significantly more often prior treatment for hemorrhoids (p < 0.01). According to the SRM only severe postoperative pain was significantly associated with stenoses (p < 0.01). Other factors, such as gender (p = 0.11), surgical technique (p = 0.25), revision (p = 0.79) or histological evidence of squamous skin (p = 0.69) showed no significance.

Conclusion

Rectal stenosis is an uncommon event after SRM. Early stenosis will occur within the first three months after surgery. The majority of the stenoses are without clinical relevance. Only one of nine patients had to undergo surgery for a relevant stenosis. The predictive factor for stenosis in the patient-characteristics is previous interventions for hemorrhoids, severe postoperative pain might also predict rectal stenosis.