Objective To prospectively assess change in bowel symptoms and quality of life (QoL) approximately 3 years after primary repair of obstetric anal sphincter injuries (OASIS). Methods Between July 2002 and December 2007 women who attended the perineal clinic at Croydon University Hospital, UK, 9 weeks following primary repair of OASIS were asked to complete the Manchester Health Questionnaire and a questionnaire to obtain a St Mark incontinence score. All women had endoanal scans at this visit. In June 2008 all women were asked to complete the questionnaires again. Results Of 344 patients who responded to the questionnaires and were included in the analysis, long-term symptoms of fecal urgency, flatus incontinence, and fecal incontinence occurred in 62 (18.0%), 52 (15.1%), and 36 (10.5%), respectively. Overall, there was a significant improvement in fecal urgency (P < 0.001) and flatus incontinence (P < 0.001) from 9 weeks to 3 years. Of 31 women with fecal incontinence symptoms at early follow-up, 28 were asymptomatic at 3 years. However, 33 women developed de novo symptoms. The only predictors of fecal incontinence at 3 years were fecal urgency at 9 weeks (OR 4.65; 95% CI, 1.38-15.70) and a higher St Mark score (OR 1.40; 95% CI, 1.09-1.80). Conclusion Following primary repair of OASIS, the majority of symptoms and QoL significantly improve, unless there is a persistent anal sphincter defect. This highlights the importance of adequate repair.
Reid, A. J., Beggs, A. D., Sultan, A. H., Roos, A. M., & Thakar, R. (2014). Outcome of repair of obstetric anal sphincter injuries after three years. International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics, 127(1), 47–50. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijgo.2014.04.013