Obstructed defecation syndrome in the first week after pelvic reconstructive surgery

Keila S. Muñiz, Julia Wainger, Sophia Diaz, Glory E. Mgboji, Lisa R. Yanek, Prerna R. Pandya, Jacqueline Y. Kikuchi, Danielle Patterson, Chi Chiung Grace Chen, Joan Blomquist, Stephanie Jacobs, Victoria L. Handa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction and hypothesis: Research shows that patients are concerned about postoperative bowel function after pelvic reconstructive surgery. The objectives of this study were to estimate the proportion of patients with obstructed defecation syndrome (ODS), a subtype of constipation, in the week after surgery, to identify associated patient-level and perioperative characteristics and the associated bother. Methods: Women completed a preoperative and postoperative ODS questionnaire and postoperative bowel diary. Characteristics of women with and without postoperative ODS were compared. Chi-squared or Fisher’s exact tests compared categorical variables. Student’s t test or Wilcoxon rank-sum tests compared continuous variables. Multivariate logistic regression was assessed for independent effects. Wilcoxon rank-sum tests compared the groups with regard to bother. Spearman correlation coefficients described the relationship among bother, postoperative ODS score, and bowel diary variables. Results: Of the 186 participants enrolled, 165 completed the postoperative ODS questionnaire. Of these, 39 women (23.6%, 95% CI 17.2–30.1) had postoperative ODS. Postoperative ODS was significantly associated with preoperative ODS (p < 0.001), posterior colporrhaphy (p = 0.03), surgery type (p = 0.01), and longer duration of surgery (p = 0.03). Using multivariate logistic regression controlling for age, only preoperative ODS was significantly associated with postoperative ODS (OR 2.68, 95% CI 1.73–4.17). Women with postoperative ODS reported more bother with their defecatory symptoms (p < 0.001). The degree of bother was significantly associated with postoperative ODS score (p < 0.001). Conclusion: Using a validated disease-specific questionnaire to identify ODS, this complication was identified in 23.6% of patients in the week after pelvic reconstructive surgery. Preoperative ODS was a significant and important risk factor for this complication.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2985-2992
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Urogynecology Journal
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2022


  • Constipation
  • Obstructed defecation syndrome
  • Pelvic organ prolapse
  • Pelvic reconstructive surgery
  • Urinary incontinence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Urology


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