Rectocele is defined as a herniation of the rectal wall inside the vagina due to a defect of the recto-vaginal septum. It is traditionally considered a posterior compartment damage with weakness of posterior vaginal wall support resulting in a bulging of the rectum into the vaginal cavity. One of the main causes of rectal prolapse is the operative vaginal birth, although the evidence of the defect may occur after many years The treatment of rectocele is surgical, and the approach can be transperineal, transvaginal, and transanal or, in selected cases, transperitoneal through open or laparoscopic techniques.
In this study we compare two transvaginal surgical techniques - i.e. the perineal body anchorage to the posterior septum and the traditional Denonvilliers’ transversal suture after removing of the vaginal skin, with the mostly performed transanal procedure, the STARR - comparing the data from the literature on their results. Mean hospital stay, rectal symptoms, dyspareunia, quality of life, recurrence rate and postoperative complications have been considered.
Both transvaginal and transrectal surgical techniques are effective to solve posterior compartment defect and to improve the quality of life. Vaginal approach may interfere with the sexual activity; furthermore it is associated with minimal postoperative pain than the transanal approach. Better anatomic results are assured after endovaginal surgery, while better rectal function prevail after the transanal approach. Vaginal techniques are more suitable to gynecologists, whereas the transrectal ones are usually performed by colo-proctologists or general surgeons.