Reversal of loop ileostomy under spinal anaesthesia
Background and aims
Traditionally, loop ileostomy is reversed under general anaesthetic. In patients with severe cardiorespiratory disease, many surgeons opt for a one-stage, low Hartmann’s procedure to avoid a second general anaesthetic to reverse a defunctioning stoma. Closure of loop ileostomy under spinal anaesthetic would allow high-risk patients to avoid a permanent stoma and a general anaesthetic.
Patients and methods
Seven patients (6 of whom were men) had reversal of loop ileostomy under spinal anaesthetic. The median age was 63 years (range 43–70). Six patients had significant co-morbidity with a median American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) grade of 3. The ileostomy was reversed in a side-to-side fashion using a linear stapler. The small bowel wall was infiltrated with local anaesthetic prior to firing the stapler.
Results and findings
All patients tolerated the procedure without discomfort. Patients started feeding on the first postoperative day. Analgesia requirements postoperatively were minimal. No complications occurred due to the anaesthetic technique.
With careful patient selection, preparation and a gentle and meticulous surgical technique, reversal of loop ileostomy can be achieved under spinal anaesthesia, thereby, saving high-risk patients with low tumours (suitable for sphincter preservation) from having a one-stage resection with permanent stoma.