SGS Papers Society of Gynecologic Surgeons| Volume 227, ISSUE 2, P317.e1-317.e12, August 2022

Postoperative complications and pelvic organ prolapse recurrence following combined pelvic organ prolapse and rectal prolapse surgery compared with pelvic organ prolapse only surgery


      There is a growing interest in combined pelvic organ prolapse and rectal prolapse surgery for concomitant pelvic floor prolapse despite a paucity of data regarding complications and clinical outcomes of combined repair.


      The primary objective of this study was to compare the <30-day postoperative complication rate in women undergoing combined POP + RP surgery with that of women undergoing pelvic organ prolapse–only surgery. The secondary objectives were to describe the <30-day postoperative complications, compare the pelvic organ prolapse recurrence between the 2 groups, and determine the preoperative predictors of <30-day postoperative complications and predictors of pelvic organ prolapse recurrence.

      Study Design

      This was a multicenter, retrospective cohort study at 5 academic hospitals. Patients undergoing combined pelvic organ prolapse and rectal prolapse surgery were matched by age, pelvic organ prolapse stage by leading compartment, and pelvic organ prolapse procedure compared with those undergoing pelvic organ prolapse–only surgery from March 2003 to March 2020. The primary outcome measure was <30-day complications separated into Clavien-Dindo classes. The secondary outcome measures were (1) subsequent pelvic organ prolapse surgeries and (2) pelvic organ prolapse recurrence, defined as patients who complained of vaginal bulge symptoms postoperatively.


      Overall, 204 women underwent combined surgery for pelvic organ prolapse and rectal prolapse, and 204 women underwent surgery for pelvic organ prolapse only. The average age (59.3±1.0 vs 59.0±1.0) and mean parity (2.3±1.5 vs 2.6±1.8) were similar in each group. Of note, 109 (26.7%) patients had at least one <30-day postoperative complication. The proportion of patients who had a complication in the combined surgery group and pelvic organ prolapse–only surgery group was similar (27.5% vs 26.0%; P=.82). The Clavien-Dindo scores were similar between the groups (grade I, 10.3% vs 9.3%; grade II, 11.8% vs 12.3%; grade III, 3.9% vs 4.4%; grade IV, 1.0% vs 0%; grade V, 0.5% vs 0%). Patients undergoing combined surgery were less likely to develop postoperative urinary tract infections and urinary retention but were more likely to be treated for wound infections and pelvic abscesses than patients undergoing pelvic organ prolapse–only surgery. After adjusting for combined surgery vs pelvic organ prolapse–only surgery and parity, patients who had anti-incontinence procedures (adjusted odds ratio, 1.85; 95% confidence interval, 1.16–2.94; P=.02) and perineorrhaphies (adjusted odds ratio, 1.68; 95% confidence interval, 1.05–2.70; P=.02) were more likely to have <30-day postoperative complications. Of note, 12 patients in the combined surgery group and 15 patients in the pelvic organ prolapse–only surgery group had subsequent pelvic organ prolapse repairs (5.9% vs 7.4%; P=.26). In the combined surgery group, 10 patients (4.9%) underwent 1 repair, and 2 patients (1.0%) underwent 2 repairs. All patients who had recurrent pelvic organ prolapse surgery in the pelvic organ prolapse–only surgery group had 1 subsequent pelvic organ prolapse repair. Of note, 21 patients in the combined surgery group and 28 patients in the pelvic organ prolapse–only surgery group reported recurrent pelvic organ prolapse (10.3% vs 13.7%; P=.26). On multivariable analysis adjusted for number of previous pelvic organ prolapse repairs, combined surgery vs pelvic organ prolapse–only surgery, and perineorrhaphy at the time of surgery, patients were more likely to have a subsequent pelvic organ prolapse surgery if they had had ≥2 previous pelvic organ prolapse repairs (adjusted odds ratio, 6.06; 95% confidence interval, 2.10–17.5; P=.01). The average follow-up times were 307.2±31.5 days for the combined surgery cohort and 487.7±49.9 days for the pelvic organ prolapse–only surgery cohort. Survival curves indicated that the median time to recurrence was not statistically significant (log-rank, P=.265) between the combined surgery group (4.2±0.4 years) and the pelvic organ prolapse–only surgery group (5.6±0.4 years).


      In this retrospective cohort study, patients undergoing combined pelvic organ prolapse and rectal prolapse surgery had a similar risk of <30-day postoperative complications compared with patients undergoing pelvic organ prolapse–only surgery. Furthermore, patients who underwent combined surgery had a similar risk of recurrent pelvic organ prolapse and subsequent pelvic organ prolapse surgery compared with patients who underwent pelvic organ prolapse–only surgery.

      Key words

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