, Volume 14, Issue 8, pp 1235-1243
Date: 25 May 2010

Comparative Study between Surgical and Non-surgical Treatment of Anismus in Patients with Symptoms of Obstructed Defecation: A Prospective Randomized Study

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This study came to compare the results of biofeedback retraining biofeedback (BFB), botulinum toxin botulinum type A (BTX-A) injection and partial division of puborectalis (PDPR) in the treatment of anismus patients.

Patients and Methods

Consecutive patients treated for anismus fulfilled Rome II criteria for functional constipation at our institution were evaluated for inclusion. Participants were randomly allocated to receive BFB, BTX-A injection, and PDPR. All patients underwent anorectal manometry, balloon expulsion test, defecography, and electromyography activity of the anal sphincter. Follow up was conducted weekly in the first month then monthly for about 1 year. Study variables included clinical improvement, patient satisfaction, and objective improvement.


Sixty patients with anismus were randomized and completed the study. The groups differed significantly regarding clinical improvement at 1 month (50% for BFB, 75%BTX-A injection, and 95% for PDPR, P = 0.006) and differences persisted at 1 year (30% for BFB, 35%BTX-A injection, and 70% for PDPR, P = 0.02). Constipation score of the patients significantly improved postPDPR and BTX-A injection. Manometric relaxation was achieved significantly in the three groups.


Biofeedback retraining has a limited therapeutic effect, BTX-A injection seems to be successful for temporary treatment but PDPR is found to be an effective with lower morbidity in contrast to its higher success rate in treating anismus.