Laparoscopic versus open repair of recto-bladderneck and recto-prostatic anorectal malformations: a systematic review and meta-analysis
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OBJECTIVE: The laparoscopically-assisted anorectal pull-through (LAARP) for recto-bladderneck and recto-prostatic anorectal malformations (RB/RP-ARMs) is believed to improve patient outcomes. We performed a systematic review of the effect of LAARP on postoperative mucosal prolapse and defecation dysfunction. METHODS: A comprehensive search of MEDLINE, EMBASE, CENTRAL, and grey literature was performed (2000-2014). Full-text screening, data abstraction and quality appraisal were conducted in duplicate. Included studies reported a primary diagnosis of RB/RP-ARM and compared LAARP versus open repair (OPEN). RESULTS: From 3681 retrieved articles, 7 studies enrolling 187 patients were analyzed. One was a randomized control trial, 6 were retrospective observational studies, and all were single-centre. The majority were of poor-moderate quality (MINORS scores: mean 16.42 (SD 2.225) out of 24). Mucosal prolapse was not significantly different after LAARP versus OPEN (p = 0.18). Defecation outcomes were inconsistently reported but were no different between LAARP and OPEN for either children >3 years old (p = 0.84), or all ages combined (p = 0.11). CONCLUSION: We found no significant difference in rates of mucosal prolapse or defecation scores for LAARP compared to OPEN for children with RB/RP-ARMs. However, studies are small and of poor-moderate quality and results are heterogeneous. Comprehensive, standardized, reliable reporting is necessary to guide practice and inform postoperative guidelines. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: 1c.
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