Outcome of salvage surgery for ileal pouches referred with a diagnosis of Crohn's disease

Kelly A Garrett, Feza H Remzi, Hasan T Kirat, Victor W Fazio, Bo Shen, Ravi P Kiran
Diseases of the Colon and Rectum 2009, 52 (12): 1967-74

INTRODUCTION: Technical complications after ileal pouch-anal anastomosis may be mislabeled as Crohn's disease. The purpose of our study is to evaluate the presentation, treatment, and outcomes of patients with a potential misdiagnosis of Crohn's disease who have undergone redo ileal pouch-anal anastomosis.

METHODS: We evaluated a historical cohort of patients, initially referred from outside institutions with a diagnosis of Crohn's disease of the pouch, who subsequently had redo ileal pouch-anal anastomosis (redo pouch or pouch revision for pouch failure) at our institution. With the use of validated questionnaires, the functional outcomes and quality of life of this cohort were compared with a control group of patients who underwent primary ileal pouch-anal anastomosis to assess whether a change in the diagnosis from Crohn's disease to technical complications was appropriate.

RESULTS: Thirty-three patients underwent a redo pouch procedure for a previous diagnosis of Crohn's disease of the pouch. Precolectomy diagnosis included ulcerative colitis (31 patients) and indeterminate colitis (2 patients). Findings on our further evaluation and subsequent indications for repeat pouch surgery included pouch fistula (20 patients), pelvic sepsis or anastomotic leak (17 patients), stricture (4 patients), refractory pouchitis (2 patients), long exit conduit (1 patient), and retained rectal stump (1 patient). All patients had medical treatment for Crohn's disease before referral. Median time between primary and redo pouch was 2.1 years (interquartile range, 1.8-4.9). Median follow-up was 1.7 years (interquartile range, 1.0-3.5). Pouch retention rate was 84.8%. Five patients (15.2%) had pouch failure. Seven patients (21.2%) ultimately had pathology consistent with Crohn's disease. Comparison of the redo pouch and control groups revealed that functional outcomes and quality of life were similar between groups.

CONCLUSION: Patients identified as having Crohn's disease need to be carefully reevaluated because some of these patients may actually have surgery-associated complications and can have a favorable long-term outcome after redo ileal pouch-anal anastomosis.

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