World Journal of Surgery

, Volume 31, Issue 5, pp 1143–1152 | Cite as

Comparison of Outcomes Following Ileostomy versus Colostomy for Defunctioning Colorectal Anastomoses

  • Henry S. Tilney
  • Parvinder S. Sains
  • Richard E. Lovegrove
  • George E. Reese
  • Alexander G. Heriot
  • Paris P. TekkisEmail author



The present study evaluated outcomes of patients undergoing proximal diversion using either a loop ileostomy or loop colostomy following distal colorectal resection for malignant and non-malignant disease.


A literature search of the Medline, Ovid, Embase and Cochrane databases was performed to identify studies published between 1966 and 2006, comparing loop ileostomy and loop colostomy to protect a distal colorectal anastomosis. A random effect meta-analytical technique was used and sensitivity analysis performed on studies published since 2000, higher quality papers, those reporting on 70 or more patients, and those reporting outcomes following colorectal cancer resections.


Seven studies, including three randomised controlled trials, satisfied the inclusion criteria. Outcomes of a total of 1,204 patients were analysed, of whom 719 (59.7%) underwent defunctioning loop ileostomy. High stoma output was more common following ileostomy formation (OR = 5.39, 95% CI: 1.11, 26.12, P = 0.04), but wound infections following their reversal were significantly fewer (OR = 0.21, 95% CI: 0.07, 0.62, P = 0.004). Overall complications were less frequent for ileostomy patients in the subgroup of high quality studies (OR = 0.22, 95% CI: 0.08, 0.59, P = 0.003).


The results of this meta-analysis suggest that ileostomy may be preferable to colostomy when used to defunction a distal colorectal anastomosis. Wound infections following stoma reversal were reduced, as were overall stoma-related complications and incisional hernia following stoma reversal for ileostomy patients in high quality studies.


Incisional Hernia Weighted Mean Difference Loop Ileostomy Colorectal Anastomosis Anastomotic Leakage Rate 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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The authors wish to gratefully acknowledge the help and advice of Mr Thanos Athanasiou, Clinical Senior Lecturer at Imperial College London, in developing the statistical methods and quality scoring utilised in the analysis of data for this paper.


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Copyright information

© Société Internationale de Chirurgie 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Henry S. Tilney
    • 1
  • Parvinder S. Sains
    • 1
  • Richard E. Lovegrove
    • 1
  • George E. Reese
    • 1
  • Alexander G. Heriot
    • 1
  • Paris P. Tekkis
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Biosurgery and Surgical TechnologyImperial College LondonLondonUK
  2. 2.Department of Biosurgery and Surgical TechnologySt. Mary’s HospitalLondonUK

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