Long-term clinical outcome of surgery for solitary rectal ulcer syndrome




When severe symptoms of solitary rectal ulcer syndrome persist despite medical management, surgery may be necessary.


A retrospective review was carried out of 81 patients undergoing surgery for solitary rectal ulcer syndrome in the 10-year period from 1984 to 1993 to determine the long-term outcome at a minimum follow-up of 12 months. Of the 81 patients, 15 were excluded from further analysis (11 were followed up for less than 12 months, two died and two were lost to follow-up). Sixty-six patients were studied (median age 38 (range 15–77) years; 53 female). Of these, 49 underwent rectopexy, nine Delorme's operation, two anterior resection and four creation of a stoma as the initial operation.


At a median follow-up of 90 (range 12–177) months, the rectopexy had failed in 22 of 49 patients; 19 of these patients underwent further surgery, including rectal resection with coloanal anastomosis (four with three failures), colostomy (11) and other procedures (four). Ultimately, 14 required a stoma. Constipation was the indication for a stoma in nine of the 11 patients who had colostomy as the first procedure after failure of rectopexy. Nine patients had Delorme's operation as the first procedure. At median follow-up of 38 (range 19–107) months, there were four failures. Two of these ultimately required a stoma. Of the seven patients who underwent anterior resection as the initial or subsequent procedure, a stoma was finally necessary in four. Anterior resection used as a salvage procedure was not successful. The overall stoma rate was 30 per cent (20 patients). Of 11 symptoms assessed before operation only incontinence and incomplete evacuation were related to a poor outcome following surgery.


Antiprolapse operations result in a satisfactory long-term outcome in about 55–60 per cent of patients having surgery for solitary rectal ulcer syndrome. Results of anterior resection are disappointing. © 1998 British Journal of Surgery Society Ltd