From May 1982 through March 1991, 10 rectal injuries were identified in 1,000 men who underwent radical retropubic prostatectomy for clinically localized adenocarcinoma. All rectal injuries occurred in nonirradiated patients. Of these patients 9 were identified during surgery and 1 was diagnosed on postoperative day 2. The 9 patients in whom the injury was recognized at operation underwent successful primary closure without a diverting colostomy. The patient who underwent delayed closure was treated with a temporary diverting colostomy. As a preoperative routine, all patients received a Fleet enema without preoperative antibiotics. In all patients the rectal injury was closed in 2 layers, the anal sphincter was dilated, and a pedicle of omentum was mobilized through a small opening in the peritoneum and placed through the rectovesical cul-de-sac to cover the suture line. All patients received 7 to 14 days of broad-spectrum antibiotics. Postoperatively, no patient had a wound infection, pelvic abscess or urethrorectal fistula. Overall hospital stay was increased by an average of 2 days. Rectal injuries recognized during surgery in previously nonirradiated patients undergoing radical retropubic prostatectomy can be managed successfully with primary closure alone, avoiding the morbidity of a diverting colostomy.
- wounds and injuries
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