World Journal of Surgery

, Volume 32, Issue 9, pp 2101–2106 | Cite as

Complications of Loop Ileostomy Closure: A Retrospective Cohort Analysis of 123 Patients

  • S. D. Mansfield
  • C. Jensen
  • A. S. Phair
  • O. T. Kelly
  • S. B. Kelly



Loop ileostomies are often formed in order to defunction distal anastomoses. The aim of this study was to review the complications following closure of loop ileostomies.


This is a retrospective case note analysis of all loop ileostomy closures performed in the Northumbria Healthcare NHS Trust (population over 500,000) over a 5-year period between 2001 and 2005.


A total of 123 case records were reviewed. Complications occurred in 41 patients (33.3%), with 9 patients (7.3%) requiring further intervention. There were 4 (3.3%) postoperative deaths. Complications were more common in patients with increased comorbidity (p = 0.0007) and postoperative death was more frequent among the elderly (p = 0.0006). Postoperative death was more common in those patients who had their stomas created during surgery (elective or emergency) for diverticular disease (3 patients, p = 0.006). Patients with diverticular disease had significantly higher comorbidity and peritoneal contamination at the time of primary surgery. Ileostomy reversal after anterior resection for cancer was associated with a lower complication rate than the rest of the cohort (26%, p = 0.0003) but there was no significant difference in mortality. Neither the grade of the surgeon, the case volume, or the anastomotic technique affected postoperative morbidity. Reoperation was more common in patients whose closure procedure took less time (p = 0.002) and in those who had a shorter wait from creation to reversal of the stoma (p < 0.0001).


Reversal of loop ileostomy may be associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Increasing the delay from creation to closure may result in fewer complications.There is an increased risk in older patients with more comorbidity, particularly when the primary procedure is for diverticular disease with significant peritoneal contamination.



The authors thank the following surgeons for contributing cases to this study: D. M. Bradburn, J. S. Falconer, L. F. Horgan, M. Jha, S. Mills, D. O’Callaghan, R. Pollard, K. Seehra, K. Seymour, and B. J. Slater.


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Copyright information

© Société Internationale de Chirurgie 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. D. Mansfield
    • 1
  • C. Jensen
    • 1
  • A. S. Phair
    • 2
  • O. T. Kelly
    • 2
  • S. B. Kelly
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of General SurgeryNorth Tyneside General HospitalNorth ShieldsUK
  2. 2.University of Newcastle upon Tyne Medical SchoolTyne and WearUK

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