Before the operation an enema is given. This reduces the stool volume in the rectum. A general anaesthetic is required.
The operation is performed via an incision between the anus and vagina. The anus and rectum (lower part of the bowel) are separated from the vagina. The anal sphincter is dissected out and the defect in the muscle is overlapped and sewn together as if wearing a double-breasted suit. The wound is only partly closed. This reduces the risk of a wound infection, but requires 2-4 weeks for the wound to heal.
After the operation, you will have a catheter in the bladder. This will remain for 2 days and will be removed before you are discharged. If you have difficulty passing urine the catheter may need to be replaced for a longer period. You will be on a normal diet. You will be discharged when comfortable, usually 2 days post procedure.
Bowel function will usually return after discharge. Bowel control will be variable depending upon the consistency of the stool and the amount of discomfort from the surgery as well as the effectiveness of the repair, as discussed with Dr Allison prior to the surgery. These issues will all be assessed at your follow-up visit with Dr Allison.