Treatment of obstructed defecation syndrome due to rectocele and rectal intussusception with a high volume stapler (TST STARR-plus)



In recent years, stapled transanal resection (STARR) has been adopted worldwide with convincing short-term results. However, due to the high recurrence rate and some major complications after STARR, there is still controversy about when the procedure is indicated. The aim of this study was to assess the safety, efficacy and feasibility of STARR performed with a new dedicated device for tailored transanal stapled surgery.


All the consecutive patients affected by obstructed defecation syndrome (ODS) due to rectocele or/and rectal intussusception, who underwent STARR with the TST STARR-Plus stapler, were included in a prospective study. Pain, Cleveland Clinic Score for Constipation (CCCS) and incontinence, patient satisfaction, number of hemostatic stitches, operative time, hospital stay and perioperative complications were recorded. Postoperative complications and recurrence were also reported.


Forty-five consecutive patients (median age 50; range 24–79) were included in the study. Median resected volume was 15 cm3 (range 12–19 cm3) with a median height of surgical specimen of 5.6 cm (range 4.5–10 cm). The mean CCCS decreased from 17.26 (± 3.77) to 5.42 (± 2.78) postoperatively (p < 0.001). Patient satisfaction grade was excellent in 14 patients (31.1%), good in 25 (55.5%), sufficient in three (6.7%) and poor in three patients (6.7%). No major complications occurred. Five patients (11%) reported urgency after 30 days and two patients (4%) after 12 months. The Cleveland Clinic Incontinence score did not significantly change. At a median follow-up of 23 months (range 12–30 months), only three patients (6.7%) reported recurrent symptoms of obstructed defecation comparable to those reported at baseline.


TST STARR-Plus seems to be safe and effective for the treatment of ODS due to rectocele and rectal intussusception, and technical improvement could reduce the risk of some complications. However, careful patient selection is still the best means of preventing complications.

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Author information

GN, BF, IG, DM and JM were involved in study conception and design. BF, CM, IG, GLT and DM were involved in acquisition of data. GN, BF and JM were analyzed and interpreted the data. GN, BF and JM wrote the manuscript.

Correspondence to J. Martellucci.

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Ethical approval for this type of study was not required in any of the participating institutions.

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Informed consent was obtained from all participants included in the study.

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Naldini, G., Fabiani, B., Menconi, C. et al. Treatment of obstructed defecation syndrome due to rectocele and rectal intussusception with a high volume stapler (TST STARR-plus). Tech Coloproctol 22, 53–58 (2018).

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  • Obstructed defecation
  • Rectal prolapse
  • Surgical stapling
  • Rectal resection
  • Rectocele intussusception