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Three-stage versus modified two-stage surgery for ulcerative colitis: a patient-centred treatment trade-off study.

Colorectal Disease 2024 April 13
AIM: There is ongoing debate about whether ileal pouch-anal anastomosis needs temporary diversion at the time of construction. Stomas may reduce risk for anastomotic leak (AL) but are also associated with complications, emergency department visits and readmissions. This treatment trade-off study aims to measure patients' preferences by assessing the absolute risk of AL and pouch failure (PF) they are willing to accept to avoid a diverting ileostomy.

METHODS: Fifty-two patients with ulcerative colitis, with or without previous pouch surgery, from Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto, participated in this study. Standardized interviews were conducted using the treatment trade-off threshold technique. An online anonymous survey was used to collect patient demographics. We measured the absolute increased risk in AL and PF that patients would accept to undergo modified two-stage surgery as opposed to traditional three-stage surgery.

RESULTS: Thirty-two patients (mean age 38.7 ± 15.3) with previous surgery and 20 patients (mean age 39.5 ± 11.9) with no previous surgery participated. Patients were willing to accept an absolute increased leak rate of 5% (interquartile range 4.5%-15%) to avoid a diverting ileostomy. Similarly, patients were willing to accept an absolute increased PF rate of 5% (interquartile range 2.5%-10%). Younger patients, aged 21-29, had lower tolerance for PF, accepting an absolute increase of only 2% versus 5% for patients older than 30 (P = 0.01).

CONCLUSION: Patients were willing to accept a 5% increased AL rate or PF rate to avoid a temporary diverting ileostomy. This should be taken into consideration when deciding between modified two- and three-stage pouch procedures.

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