1. Stamatiadis, Apostolos MD, PhD
  2. Konstantinou, Evangelos PhD, MSc, RN
  3. Theodosopoulou, Eleni PhD, RN
  4. Mamoura, Konstantinia MSc, RN


Sphincter trauma after anorectal surgery is usually asymptomatic. Frequency of trauma cannot be established with the clinical examination only. The frequency of operative sphincter defects and their correlation with disorders of continence was evaluated with the endoanal ultrasound. This study includes 123 subjects who had undergone anorectal surgery in the past and were examined with endoanal ultrasound for various indications such as continence disorders, recurrent fistula, idiopathic perineal pain, or simple postoperative follow-up. No subjects had isolated external anal sphincter defects.


Nineteen of 123 patients (15%) had minor or major continence disorders, 55 patients (45%) had no sphincter defects, 42 (34%) had only internal anal sphincter (IAS) defects, and 26 (21%) had simultaneously external and internal anal sphincter (EAS) defects. The incidence of IAS and EAS trauma after Milligan-Morgan hemorrhoidectomy was 1/18 (5.5%) and 0/18 respectively; after fistula repair, 24/42 (57%) and 12/42 (29%); and after anal dilatation, 13/17 (76%) and 4/17 (24%). Sixteen of 26 patients (62%) with EAS trauma and 51/68 patients (75%) with IAS trauma did not report any disorders of continence. In patients with two or more operations, the frequency of IAS trauma was 74%, 30% for EAS trauma, and 26% for continence disorders.