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AIM: The aim of this work was to assess the relationship between pelvic pain and rectal prolapse both before prolapse surgery and in the long term after ventral mesh rectopexy (VMR). METHOD: Patients undergoing VMR between 2004 and 2017 were contacted. Outcomes including the severity of pelvic pain were recorded using a numeric rating scale. RESULTS: Four hundred and seventy eight of the 749 patients (64%) were successfully contacted. Of these, 39% reported pre-existing pelvic pain prior to VMR (group A) and 61% were pain free (group B). The median follow-up time was 8.0 years (interquartile range 5.0-10.0 years). Symptoms of obstructed defaecation were significantly more common (p = 0.002) in group A (91/187, 49%) than in group B (101/291, 35%). In contrast, faecal incontinence was more common (p = 0.007) in group B (75/291, 26%) than in group A (29/187, 15%). In group A, 76% showed improvement in pelvic pain after VMR: 61% were pain free and 39% had partial improvement in their pre-existing pelvic pain. Patients with persistent pelvic pain were younger (p = 0.01) and more likely to have revisional surgery after VMR (p = 0.0003), but there was no relation to the indication for surgery (p = 0.59). In group B, 15% reported de novo pelvic pain after VMR, and this was more common in women under 50 years old (p = 0.001), when obstructed defaecation was the indication (p = 0.03), in mesh erosion (p = <0.05) and when associated with revisional surgery (p = 0.005). CONCLUSION: Pelvic pain is common (39%) in patients undergoing prolapse surgery, and VMR improves this pain in most patients (76%). However, a significant number of patients fail to improve (12%), experience worsening of pain (12%) or develop de novo pelvic pain (15%).

Original publication




Journal article


Colorectal Dis

Publication Date





118 - 127


erosion, faecal incontinence, mesh, obstructed defaecation syndrome, pelvic pain, ventral mesh rectopexy, Humans, Female, Middle Aged, Surgical Mesh, Laparoscopy, Treatment Outcome, Rectal Prolapse, Pelvic Pain, Rectum