Techniques in Coloproctology

, Volume 7, Issue 3, pp 148-153

First online:

Bleeding, incontinence, pain and constipation after STARR transanal double stapling rectotomy for obstructed defecation

  • G. DodiAffiliated withColoproctology Unit, University Hospital
  • , R. PietrolettiAffiliated withColoproctology Unit, Villa Flaminia Hospital
  • , G. MilitoAffiliated withColoproctology Unit, Tor Vergata University
  • , G. BindaAffiliated withColoproctology Unit, Galliera Hospital
  • , M. PescatoriAffiliated withColoproctology Unit, Villa Flaminia Hospital Email author 

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The STARR double stapling procedure (DSP), i. e. transanal anteroposterior rectotomy, has been recently reported as a low-morbidity and effective operation for the treatment of rectocele and internal rectal mucosal prolapse (R-IMP) causing obstructed defecation. We report the postoperative complications and recurrence of symptoms following this novel operation.

Patients and methods:

Fourteen chronically constipated women with RIMP, aged 36–72 years, presented with either severe complications or recurrence of symptoms following DSP performed by means of two circular staplers. All were followed for a median period of 12 months (range, 2–24) after DPS.


Severe rectal bleeding occurred in two cases postoperatively. Persistent severe anal pain was reported by seven patients, all presenting with anxiety. Four of them were multiparous. Three patients had fecal incontinence, both had vaginal deliveries. R-IMP recurred in six, obstructed defecation in seven cases. Four patients needed reintervention, one for suturing the bleeding area, one excising the recurrent prolapse, one for colpocele and one for rectal stricture. Four patients required biofeedback training for non-relaxing puborectalis and two needed psychotherapy.


Parity, spastic floor syndrome and psychoneurosis seem to be the risk factors predisposing to failure of DSP, which may be followed by severe complications and early recurrence of symptoms requiring reoperation.

Key words

Stapler Rectocele Mucosal prolapse Constipation Fecal incontinence Anal pain