The objective of the study was to describe the inferior hypogastric plexus and nerves constituting the para-rectal fossa in order to study the importance of anatomical knowledge in rectal endometriosis surgery.
In order to discover the complete anatomy of the study area, we carried out a review of the literature and relied on dissection of a female cadaver and operative dissections in patients treated for rectal endometriosis.
The inferior hypogastric plexus, the hypogastric nerve and the pelvic splanchnic nerves are the nervous elements component the para-rectal fossa. These nerves were important urinary, digestive and sexual functions. The dissection of the Okabayashi and the Latzko spaces within the para-rectal fossa and sparing nerve within this zone is more important for the prevention of traumatic nervous sequelae during rectal endometriosis surgery. The pelvic anatomy can be by attraction and sheathing nerve structures by endometriosis lesions which can complicate preservation techniques.
Lesions of pelvic vegetative nerves running through the para-rectal fossa can be responsible for urinary, digestive and sexual disorders that can affect patients quality of life. There is currently only one standardized “nerve sparing” technique in pelvic endometriosis surgery. Knowledge of the anatomy of the nerves making up the para-rectal fossa helps to orient the operative dissection and prevent postoperative nerve complications after surgery for rectal endometriosis.
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