The Role of Intraoperative Proctosigmoidoscopy in Laparoscopic Pelvic Surgery

Ceana Nezhat*, Daniel Seidman, Farr Nezhat, Camran Nezhat*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Study Objective. To report the outcome of rigid sigmoidoscopy during operative laparoscopy in patients at high risk for rectosigmoid and large bowel injury. Design. Prospective patient database with retrospective chart review (Canadian Task Force classification II-3). Setting. Referral practice and tertiary medical center. Patients. Two hundred sixty-two women with rectosigmoid endometriosis and adhesions. Interventions. Rigid sigmoidoscopy during laparoscopy. At the end of surgery, proctosigmoidoscopy was performed to evaluate intraluminal abnormality or rectosigmoid injury. The pelvis was then filled with isotonic fluid to observe laparoscopically for air leakage. Measurements and Main Results. Sigmoidoscopy was performed due to a lesion involving the rectum or sigmoid in 60.7%, large bowel in 11.1%, and posterior cul-de-sac in 28.2% of patients. During laparoscopy, endometriosis was found in 30.5%, adhesions in 20.2%, and both in 43.5%. Four women (1.5%) had bowel injury identified during sigmoidoscopy; all bowel injuries were treated by intracorporeal laparoscopic suturing. One incomplete repair was detected by sigmoidoscopy. In one woman (0.4%) a rectal polyp was detected. Conclusion. Bowel injury is one of the most serious complications of laparoscopy. Early detection and prompt intraoperative management are essential to prevent a potentially catastrophic outcome. Sigmoidoscopy is a relatively easy procedure and aids during laparoscopy in the diagnosis of bowel perforation and in assessment of bowel wall invasion and potential stricture caused by endometriosis. It is a safe procedure even when performed immediately after extensive laparoscopic surgical treatment of rectosigmoid endometriosis and adhesions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-49
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of the American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2004
Externally publishedYes


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