Purpose This study aimed to establish the functional impact of displacement of urogenital organs after abdominoperineal resection (APR) using validated questionnaires.
Methods Patients who underwent APR for primary or recurrent rectal cancer (2001-2018) with evaluable pre- and postoperative radiological imaging and completed urinary (UDI-6, IIQ-7) and sexual questionnaires (male, IIEF; female, FSFI, FSDS-R) were included from 16 centers. Absolute displacement of the internal urethral orifice, posterior bladder wall, distal end of the prostatic urethra, and cervix were correlated to urogenital function by calculating Spearman's Rho (rho). Median function scores were compared between minimal or substantial displacement using median split.
Results There were 89 male and 36 female patients included, of whom 45 and 19 were sexually active after surgery. Absolute displacement of the internal urethral orifice and posterior bladder wall was not correlated with UDI-6 in men (rho = 0.119 and rho = 0.022) nor in women (rho = - 0.098 and rho = - 0.154). In men with minimal and substantial displacement of the internal urethral orifice, median UDI-6 scores were 10 (IQR 0-22) and 17 (IQR 5-21), respectively, with corresponding scores of 25 (IQR 10-46) and 21 (IQR 16-36) in women. Displacement of the cervix and FSDS-R were correlated (rho = 0.433) in sexually active patients.
Conclusion This first analysis on functional impact of urogenital organ displacement after APR suggests that more displacement of the cervix might be associated with worse sexual function, while the data does not indicate any potential functional impact of bladder displacement. Studies are needed to further explore this underexposed topic.
The authors thank the BIOPEX study group for their contribution.