Patients diagnosed with colorectal cancer may undergo a procedure called mesorectal excision as part of their oncology management. In this procedure, a significant portion of the bowel is removed along with the tumor. Total mesorectal excision refers to the entire rectum and mesorectum (peritoneum that connects the upper rectum.) The rectum is removed up to the level of the levator muscles, and this procedure is indicated for tumors of the middle and lower rectum. In a study published in the World Journal of Oncology, the authors report on female urogenital dysfunction following total mesorectal excision (TME).
Questionnaires were returned by 18 women (age range 34-86) who had undergone TME for rectal cancer. Results of the study are summarized in the chart below. (All patients had reported vaginal childbirth, and five had undergone total abdominal hysterectomy and oophrectomy.)
|5/18 (28%) were sexually active (with no complaints of dyspareunia)||Sexually active patients remained active but all reported discomfort with penetration
2 patients reported decreased libido due to stoma
|3/18 (17%) reported urinary urgency and frequency||Of patients with urinary symptoms, 80% persisted longer than 3 months post-surgery|
|7/18 (39%) reported stress urinary incontinence|
|New onset symptoms: 61% developed nocturia, 20% developed stress urinary incontinence, 1 patient required permanent catheter|