Is Early Reversal of Defunctioning Ileostomy a Shorter, Easier and Less Expensive Operation?
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A defunctioning loop ileostomy mitigates the consequences of anastomotic leak from low rectal anastomosis but it is associated with significant morbidity. In this study, the outcome of early reversal of defunctioning ileostomy during the same admission with the primary operation was assessed.
This randomized study was carried out at York Teaching Hospital during the period 2003–2007. All patients with defunctioning ileostomy were considered for an early second operation if they had an uneventful recovery and were in good general condition. Patients on steroids, at high cardiorespiratory risk and those experiencing any postoperative complication were excluded. Eligible patients with satisfactory gastrografin enema on postoperative day 6 were randomized to early versus late reversal at 6–8 weeks. Outcome measures were ease of closure as assessed by a visual analog scale by the operating surgeon, all postoperative complications, duration of the operation, total length of hospital stay and associated costs.
Thirty-nine consecutive patients were assessed for eligibility and finally 26 were included in the study. Sixteen patients underwent early reversal. The median(interquartile range (IQR)) age was 62(22) years. Early reversal was significantly superior in terms of ease of abdominal wall closure, ease of reversal (p < 0.01 each), duration of the operation (median(IQR) 20(13) vs. 40(9) min, p < 0.01) and costs of stoma care (median(IQR) 27(9) vs. 311(108) £, p < 0.01). There were no major (grade III/IV) complications in either group. Total length of hospital stay was similar between groups.
In carefully selected patients, early reversal of defunctioning ileostomy is feasible, technically easier and has shorter operative time which can also lead to significant cost savings.
KeywordsAnastomotic Leak Short Operative Time Parastomal Hernia Early Group Early Closure
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Conflict of interest
Authors declare no conflict of interest.