The place for colectomy and ileorectal anastomosis: a valid surgical option for ulcerative colitis?
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Conflicting views regarding the use of ileorectal anastomosis (IRA) in ulcerative colitis (UC) exist and this controversy prompted us to review our experience, especially against the background of the current tendency to choose the ileal pouch-anal procedure (IPAA).
Thirty-two consecutive patients with IRA were studied. Complications, failure rate, reasons for failure and functional results were assessed. The median follow-up time was 3.5 years.
The overall complication rate was 28%. The rectum was excised in 4 patients, indicating a failure rate of 12%. The mean daily evacuation frequency was 5.6. Despite urgency occurring in one-third of the patients, continence function was well preserved.
Employed on a selective basis, IRA is a safe procedure with low mortality and morbidity and good prospects for success in many patients with UC. The patients must be prepared to submit to life-long rectoscopy surveillance.