International Journal of Colorectal Disease

, Volume 19, Issue 4, pp 359–369 | Cite as

New trends in the surgical treatment of outlet obstruction: clinical and functional results of two novel transanal stapled techniques from a randomised controlled trial

  • Paolo Boccasanta
  • Marco Venturi
  • Giovanni Salamina
  • Bruno Mario Cesana
  • Francesco Bernasconi
  • Giancarlo Roviaro
Original Article


Background and aims

A randomised trial was undertaken to compare the clinical and functional results of two novel transanal stapled techniques in patients with outlet obstruction syndrome.

Materials and methods

Ninety-six females with outlet obstruction were treated with medical therapy and biofeedback for 2 months; 67 non-responders were evaluated by the Constipation Scoring and Continence Grading Systems, clinical examination, endoscopy, dynamic defecography, anorectal manometry, transanal ultrasound and anal EMG, and 50 of them, all affected with descending perineum, intussusception and rectocele, were randomly assigned to two groups and operated on: 25 patients (mean age 53.2±15.3 years) underwent a single Stapled Trans-Anal Prolapsectomy, associated with Perineal Levatorplasty (STAPL Group), and the other 25 (mean 54.6±14.2 years) underwent a double Stapled Trans-Anal Rectal Resection (STARR Group). Patients were followed-up for a mean period of 23.4±5.1 months in STAPL Group and 22.3±4.8 in STARR Group.


STARR Group showed a significantly (p <0.0001) lower pattern of postoperative pain and a greater decrease (P =0.0117) of the rectal sensitivity threshold volume; otherwise, no differences were found in operative time, hospital stay, or time of inability to work. Complications included delayed healing of the perineal wound (ten), dyspareunia (five), urinary retention (two) and stenosis (one) in STAPL Group, and urge to defecate (four), transitory incontinence to flatus (two), urinary retention (two), bleeding (one) and stenosis (one) in STARR Group. All constipation symptoms significantly improved without worsening of anal continence and with excellent/good outcome at 20 months in 76 and 88% of patients of STAPL Group and STARR Group, respectively. Seven patients of STAPL Group had a little residual rectocele, while both intussusception and rectocele were corrected in all patients of STARR Group. Neither operation modified anal pressures or caused lesions of anal sphincters.


Both techniques are safe and effective in the treatment of outlet obstruction; nevertheless, the double Stapled Trans-Anal Rectal Resection seems to be preferable due to less pain, absence of dyspareunia, reduced rectal sensitivity threshold volume and absence of residual rectocele at defecography.


Descending perineum Intussusception Outlet obstruction Rectocele Trans-anal stapled surgery 



This study was supported by a grant from “ Fondazione Camillo Corti per la ricerca sulle malattie del colon”, Piazza Martini 9, 20137 Milano, Italy. The protocol study was approved by the Governing Council of the Italian Association of Coloproctology Units and did not receive any financial support for this investigation. No financial contribution has been received from any potentially interested party during the preparation of this clinical trial. In particular, no inducements have been forthcoming from Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Inc., or Johnson & Johnson.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paolo Boccasanta
    • 1
  • Marco Venturi
    • 1
  • Giovanni Salamina
    • 1
  • Bruno Mario Cesana
    • 2
  • Francesco Bernasconi
    • 3
  • Giancarlo Roviaro
    • 1
  1. 1.1st Department of General Surgery, Ospedale Maggiore di MilanoI.R.C.C.S. University of MilanMilanItaly
  2. 2.Epidemiologic Unit, Ospedale Maggiore di MilanoI.R.C.C.S. University of MilanMilanItaly
  3. 3.Uro-Gynecological DepartmentOspedale Civile di DesioMilanItaly

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