Restorative proctocolectomy: an example of how surgery evolves in response to paradigm shifts in care

F H Remzi, O A Lavryk, J H Ashburn, T L Hull, I C Lavery, D W Dietz, H Kessler, J M Church
Colorectal Disease 2017, 19 (11): 1003-1012

AIM: Surgical technique constantly evolves in response to the pressure of progress. Ileal pouch anal anastomosis (IPAA) is a good example. We analysed the effect of changes in practice on the technique of IPAA and its outcomes.

METHOD: Patients undergoing primary IPAA at this institution were divided into three groups by date of the IPAA: those operated from 1983 to 1993, from 1994 to 2004 and from 2005 to 2015. Demographics, patient comorbidity, surgical techniques, postoperative outcomes, pouch function and quality of life were analysed.

RESULTS: In all, 4525 patients had a primary IPAA. With each decade, increasing numbers of surgeons were involved (decade I, 8; II, 16; III, 31), patients tended to be sicker (higher American Society of Anesthesiologists score) and three-staged pouches became more common. After an initial popularity of the S pouch, J pouches became dominant and a mucosectomy rate of 12% was standard. The laparoscopic technique blossomed in the last decade. 90-day postoperative morbidity by decade was 38.3% vs 50% vs 48% (P < 0.0001), but late morbidity decreased from 74.2% through 67.1% to 30% (P < 0.0001). Functional results improved, but quality of life scores did not. Pouch survival rate at 10 years was maintained (94% vs 95.2% vs 95.2%; P = 0.06).

CONCLUSION: IPAA is still evolving. Despite new generations of surgeons, a more accurate diagnosis, appropriate staging and the laparoscopic technique have made IPAA a safer, more effective and enduring operation.

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