Skip to main content

Rectocele repair

Four years' experience


A retrospective review of 64 rectocele repairs done over a four-year period was performed. The most common indication for repair was constipation. Thirty-five patients were repaired transanally, and 29 were repaired transvaginally. The overall morbidity was 34 percent, and the overall mortality was 0 percent. The most common complication was urinary retention in 12.5 percent. There was no difference in complications between techniques. Of 46 patients contacted for follow-up, 25 (54 percent) still complained of constipation, 17 (34 percent) had partial incontinence, 8 (17 percent) noted persistent rectal pain, 15 (32 percent) mentioned occasional rectal bleeding, and 10 (22 percent) complained of vaginal tightness or sexual dysfunction. Thirty-seven (80 percent) patients stated that they had improved after surgery. Except for persistent rectal pain, there was no difference in results between transanal and transvaginal repairs. Those undergoing transvaginal repair had a much greater problem with pain. Our relatively poor results may be due to an unselective approach to rectocele repair. The presence of both constipation and a rectocele does not imply an association, and a complete anorectal physiologic examination should precede repair. There is no functional difference between transvaginal and transanal rectocele repair.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.


  1. 1.

    Yoshioka K, Keighley MR. Clinical results of colectomy for severe constipation. Br J Surg 1989;76:600–04.

    Google Scholar 

  2. 2.

    Roe AM, Bartolo DD, Mortensen NJ. Diagnosis and surgical management of intractable constipation. Br J Surg 1986;73:854–61.

    Google Scholar 

  3. 3.

    Cherry CA, Rothenberger DA. Pelvic floor physiology. Surg Clin North Am 1988;68:1217–30.

    Google Scholar 

  4. 4.

    Capps WF Jr. Rectoplasty and perineoplasty for the symptomatic rectocele: a report of fifty cases. Dis Colon Rectum 1975;18:237–44.

    Google Scholar 

  5. 5.

    Khubchandani IT, Sheets JA, Stasik JJ, Hakki AR. Endorectal repair of rectocele. Dis Colon Rectum 1983;26:792–6.

    Google Scholar 

  6. 6.

    Pemberton JH. Anorectal Physiology. Abstracts, 52nd Course. Prin Colon Rectal Surg, 1989:12–49.

  7. 7.

    Ramon De Alvarez R. Textbook of gynecology. Philadelphia: Lea & Febiger, 1977:491–503.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to Mark W. Arnold M.D..

About this article

Cite this article

Arnold, M.W., Stewart, W.R.C. & Aguilar, P.S. Rectocele repair. Dis Colon Rectum 33, 684–687 (1990).

Download citation

Key words

  • Rectocele repair
  • Transanal vs. transvaginal
  • Constipation