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Obstetric rectal laceration in the absence of an anal sphincter injury
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  • Published on:
    Letter to the Editor regarding “Obstetric rectal laceration in the absence of an anal sphincter injury”
    • Joanna Clare Roper, Clinical research fellow Croydon University Hospital
    • Other Contributors:
      • Abdul H Sultan, Consultant Obstetrician and Urogynaecologist
      • Ranee Thakar, Consultant Urogynaecologist

    Dear Editor,

    We read, with interest, “Obstetric rectal laceration in the absence of an anal sphincter injury” by Awomolo et al in your journal [1]. We commend the authors on reviewing this rare injury.

    We appreciate your detailed case report and were pleased to read that your patient recovered well from her injury. We agree that these rare injuries require careful repair with experience, good surgical technique and detailed knowledge of perineal anatomy. Your extensive literature review found other similar cases, many of which we included in our most comprehensive case series [2], but we were surprised to see that our case series was not included in your paper. Although rectal buttonhole tears are rare they are now defined in many National guidelines in the world [3]. What our paper also adds is a standardised approach for repair of isolated rectal tears and follow up, with a video demonstration on a porcine specimen. In addition, we have highlighted that rectal button hole tears can occur concomitantly with a third or 4th degree tear when there is intact bridge of anorectal mucosa between the two injuries.

    We appreciated the insufficiencies in training regarding classification, diagnosis and repair of obstetric anal sphincter injuries (OASIS) over 20 years ago and began the first hands-on course in 2000 ( We have also introduced the Prevention and Repair Of perineal Trauma Episiotomy through Co...

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    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.