International Journal of Colorectal Disease

, Volume 34, Issue 2, pp 209–216 | Cite as

Quality of life following ostomy reversal with purse-string vs linear skin closure: a systematic review

  • Emanuele RausaEmail author
  • M. E. Kelly
  • G. Sgroi
  • V. Lazzari
  • A. Aiolfi
  • F. Cavalcoli
  • G. Bonitta
  • L. Bonavina



The importance of the defunctioning stoma on minimizing anastomotic leak in colorectal surgery is well established. However, a defunctioning stoma can substantially impact on quality of life (QoL). Circumferential purse-string approximation (PSA) and linear skin closure (LSC) are the most commonly performed surgical technique for reversal of stoma. The aim of this review was to systemically review and meta-analyze available randomized controlled trials (RCTs) comparing PSA and LSC.


An electronic systematic search using MEDLINE databases (PubMed, EMBASE, and Web of Science) of RCTs comparing PSA and LSC was performed. Eight RCTs totalling 647 patients met the inclusion criteria and were included in this meta-analysis.


Patient’s satisfaction is significantly lower in PSA group during the first postoperative week, but it sharply improves afterwards and no difference were noted at 1 and 6 months between the two groups. Relative risk (RR) of developing a SSI is significantly lower in PSA compared to LSC group (RR 0.16 95% CI 0.09; 0.30; p = 0.0001), whereas incisional hernia (RR 0.53 95% CI 0.08; 3.53; p = 0.512), operative time (MD − 0.06 95% CI − 0.30; 0.17; p = 0.593), and hospital stay (MD − 0.09 (95% CI − 0.29-0.11; p = 0.401) remain similar.


QoL was similar in both patients groups after the first postoperative week. PSA significantly reduced SSI rate. No difference was observed in incisional hernia rate, operative time, or length of hospital stay.


Ostomy reversal Scar cosmesis Surgical site infection Incisional hernia 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of General Surgery, IRCCS Policlinico San Donato, Department of Biomedical Sciences of HealthUniversity of Milan Medical SchoolMilanItaly
  2. 2.Department of Colorectal SurgeryConnolly HospitalDublinIreland
  3. 3.Division of Surgical OncologyTreviglio HospitalTreviglioItaly
  4. 4.Gastroenterology and Endoscopy UnitFondazione IRCCS Ca’ Granda Ospedale Maggiore PoliclinicoMilanItaly

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