Omission of temporary diversion in restorative proctocolectomy — Is it safe?

Research paper by Joe J. Tjandra, Victor W. Fazio, Jeffrey W. Milsom, Ian C. Lavery, John R. Oakley, Jean M. Fabre

Indexed on: 01 Nov '93Published on: 01 Nov '93Published in: Diseases of the Colon & Rectum


PURPOSE: The aim of our study was to evaluate the safety and functional outcome of restorative proctocolectomy (RP) without diversion. METHODS: Fifty patients underwent RP without diversion for ulcerative colitis (82 percent), familial adenomatous polyposis (12 percent), and indeterminate colitis (6 percent). The perioperative course and functional outcome of these patients were compared with another group of 50 patients undergoing RP with diverting ileostomy during the same time period (1989–1991) and closely matched for age, gender, surgeon, diagnosis, extent and duration (median, 10 years) of colitis, prior colectomy (∼22 percent), steroid use (40 percent), type of pouch, distance of ileal pouch-anal anastomosis from the dentate line (median, 1.5 cm), and the duration of follow-up (median, 12 months). All patients had a stapled ileal pouch-anal anastomosis without mucosectomy and a smooth conduct of the operation. RESULTS: There was no operative mortality. Anastomotic leaks and pelvic abscess were more common in patients without ileostomy (7/50 or 14 percentvs.2/50 or 4 percent); 8 of these 9 patients were taking ≥20 mg of prednisone/day. Septic complications requiring relaparotomy (6 percentvs.0 percent), prolonged ileus, and fever of unknown origin (10 percentvs.4 percent) were also more common in patients without ileostomy. Despite similar functional results at 6 weeks and at 12 months after initial pouch function, patients without ileostomy had a poorer quality of life index (5vs.8; 10 being best) in the early period (0–6 weeks) of pouch function. CONCLUSION: In equally favorable cases, RP without diversion is not as safe as RP with diversion, especially in patients taking ≥20 mg of prednisone/day.