BACKGROUND - Hysterectomy might adversely affect pelvic floor functions and result in many different symptoms, such as urinary and anal incontinence, obstructed defecation, and constipation.
OBJECTIVE - The aim of this prospective study was to evaluate the influence of hysterectomy on pelvic floor disorders.
DESIGN - This was a prospective and longitudinal study.
SETTINGS - The study was conducted at the Ankara University Department of Surgery and the Dr Zekai Tahir Burak Women's Health Research and Education Hospital between September 2008 and March 2011.
PATIENTS - The study was performed on patients who underwent hysterectomy for benign pathologies.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES - A questionnaire about urinary incontinence (International Continence Society scoring), anal incontinence, constipation, and obstructed defecation (Rome criteria and constipation severity score), along with an extensive obstetric history, was administered preoperatively and postoperatively annually for 4 years.
RESULTS - Patients (N = 327) who had completed each of the 4 annual postoperative follow-ups were included in this study. Compared with the preoperative observations, the occurrence of each symptom was significantly increased at each of the follow-up years (p < 0.001). Over the 4 postoperative years, the frequencies for constipation (n = 245) were 7.8%, 8.2%, 8.6%, and 5.3%; those for obstructed defecation (n = 269) were 4.5%, 5.2%, 4.1%, and 3.0%; those for anal incontinence (n = 252) were 4.8%, 6.3%, 6.0%, and 5.2%, and those for urinary incontinence (n = 99) were 12.1%, 12.1%, 11.1%, and 13.1%. In addition, patients who had no preoperative symptom (n = 70) from any of the selected symptoms showed a postoperative occurrence of at least 1 of these symptoms of 15.8%, 14.3%, 11.4%, and 8.6% for the postoperative years 1, 2, 3, and 4.
LIMITATIONS - Although the study had several limitations, no comparison with a control population was the most important one.
CONCLUSIONS - Hysterectomy for benign gynecologic pathologies had a significant negative impact on pelvic floor functions in patients who had no previous symptoms.
Dis Colon Rectum. 2017 Mar;60(3):303-310. doi: 10.1097/DCR.0000000000000786.