What is laparoscopic rectopexy?
Laparoscopic rectopexy is an operation in which sutures (stitches) are used to secure the rectum in its proper position using key-hole surgery. The surgery is performed to correct rectal prolapse--a condition in which the rectum loses its support--which may lead to several symptoms.
Fig 1: normal intestinal anatomy
The term "laparoscopic" refers to the performance of surgery using laparoscopy. Laparoscopy enables the surgeon to complete the surgery through very small "keyhole" incisions in the abdomen. A laparoscope, a small, telescope-like instrument, is placed through an incision near the bellybutton.
What happens during the surgery?
There are two main steps to this surgery.
Step 1: Positioning the laparoscope
Once you are under anesthesia, the surgeon will make a small cut (about 1/2 inch) near the bellybutton. A laparoscope will be inserted into the abdomen through this incision. Images taken by the laparoscope will be projected onto video monitors placed near the operating table.
Once the laparoscope is in place, the surgeon usually makes more "keyhole" incisions in the abdomen (figure 2). The number and position of these incisions depends on the build of the patient, preference of surgeon and various other factors such as difficulty of the procedure. Surgical instruments will be placed through these incisions to complete the surgery.
Fig 2: Laparoscopic surgery is performed through several small incisions in the abdomen
Step 2: Repositioning the rectum
Your surgeon will begin the surgery by locating the sigmoid colon and rectum. Next, the rectum will be freed from its surrounding structures and gently lifted into its proper position inside the pelvis. Sutures will be placed around the rectum to secure it in position. Finally, the pelvis will be rinsed out and the incisions will be stitched closed.
Recovering at home
You will be encouraged to increase your activity level steadily once you are home. Walking is great exercise and will help your general recovery by strengthening your muscles, keeping your blood circulating to prevent blood clots, and helping your lungs remain clear. If you are fit and exercised regularly before surgery, you may resume exercising when you feel comfortable. However, you should not lift or push anything over 30 pounds or do abdominal exercises such as sit-ups for six weeks after surgery.
You will be sent home on a soft diet, which means you can eat most everything except raw fruits and vegetables. You should eat this diet until your post-surgical check-up. If the diet is making you constipated, please contact your doctor.
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This information is provided by the Cleveland Clinic and is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or health care provider. Please consult your health care provider for advice about a specific medical condition. This document was last reviewed on: 5/29/2008...#4550