Deep infiltrating endometriosis (DIE) is a complex disease that impairs the quality of life and the fertility of women. Colorectal DIE accounts for 70% to 93% of all the intestinal endometriotic sites and frequently needs a surgical approach. However, the indications for the surgical management of this condition are still controversial. From March 2010 to June 2014, we scheduled 33 consecutive patients presenting with retrocervical-rectal DIE of any diameter not involving the mucosa nor producing rectal stenosis >50% for laparoscopic robotic-assisted nerve-sparing rectal nodulectomy (LRN). All patients were examined preoperatively, at 3 months and 6 months postoperatively, and yearly thereafter. Dysmenorrhea, dyschezia, dyspareunia, and dysuria were evaluated on a 10-point visual analog scale. Among the 33 enrolled patients, 31 (93.9%) fulfilled the selection criteria and were submitted to LRN. In 1 out of 31 available patients (3.2%), a segmental bowel resection was considered necessary for prudential purpose at the end of the nodulectomy procedure. No laparotomic conversion was performed in any case. A wide variety of associated surgical procedures were performed in 25 of 30 patients (83.3%). No intraoperative complications were observed. One grade 3b and 2 grade 1 postoperative complications were recorded. The mean larger axis of the excised nodules measured on the formalin-fixed specimen was 26.4 mm. We found significant improvements in patient symptoms at a 3-month follow-up which persisted over the time. We observed 2 (6.7%) recurrences of intestinal endometriosis and 1 (3.3%) recurrence of chronic pelvic pain without clinical and/or radiologic evidence of endometriotic lesions. The mean follow-up time was 27.6 months. We believe that LRN is feasible and safe and shows promising results in terms of radicality, anatomic recurrence rate, and pain recurrence rate for treating isolated retrocervical-rectal DIE not involving the mucosa, without limiting this procedure to nodules smaller than 3 cm.
- Colorectal endometriosis
- Deep infiltrating endometriosis
- Obstetrics and Gynecology
- Rectal nodulectomy
- Robotic-assisted laparoscopy