ZocdocAnswersHow is a rectopexy performed?

Question

How is a rectopexy performed?

My elderly mom has to get a rectopexy for some from problems she's been having with digestion and defecation. Can you explain to me how a rectoplexy is performed, and what the desired outcome is? What are the risks particularly for someone of her age?

Answer

Rectopexy is a surgical procedure in which the rectum is sutured to the sacrum, a part of the spine. What this accomplished is that it provides support to a rectum that has become stretched out and weakened by age and other factors. Most commonly this is done for a patient who is suffering from rectal prolapse, which can cause pain, constipation, and even sometimes stool incontinence. Sometimes, rectopexy is performed in conjunction with other surgical procedures, such as a resection of part of the colon to eliminate 'floppy' colon and improve constipation and related problems. The risk from this procedure depends a several factors. First, is the rectopexy being performed alone or in conjunction with other procedures? Adding additional procedures my slightly increase the rate of complications. Second, is the procedure being performed laparoscopically or with a large abdominal incision? Laparoscopic procedures allow for quicker healing but cannot always be done. Third, what other medical problems does your mother have? The factor which by far determines most of the surgical risk in a patient the age of your mother are these other medical problems. For this reason, all patients your mother's age should have a good evaluation by their internal medicine doctor prior to surgery clearing them to go ahead with the procedure.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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