Repeat ileal pouch-anal anastomosis to salvage septic complications of pelvic pouches: clinical outcome and quality of life assessment

V W Fazio, J S Wu, I C Lavery
Annals of Surgery 1998, 228 (4): 588-97

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the outcome of repeat ileal pouch-anal anastomosis (IPAA) for septic complications of pelvic pouch surgery; to assess the relationship between diagnosis and outcome; to assess quality of life after surgery.

SUMMARY BACKGROUND DATA: Pelvic and perineal sepsis due to ileal pouch-anal anastomotic leaks frequently results in pouch loss. Many surgeons believe that pelvic sepsis and/or dense pelvic fibrosis makes salvage surgery unsafe or that pouches salvaged under these circumstances may not function well. As a result, there are few studies of pouch salvage procedures for septic indications.

METHODS: The authors reviewed records of Cleveland Clinic Foundation patients who had undergone repeat IPAA surgery after septic complications from previous pelvic pouch surgery and who had completed at least 6 months of follow-up. Final diagnoses included ulcerative colitis (n = 22), Crohn's disease (n = 10), indeterminate colitis (n = 1), and familial polyposis (n = 2). Patients with functioning pouches were interviewed about functional problems and quality of life using an in-house questionnaire and the validated SF-36 Health Survey.

RESULTS: Of 35 patients, 30 (86%) had a functioning pouch 6 months after repeat IPAA. In 4 patients, complications led to pouch removal or fecal diversion. One patient declined stoma closure. Of the patients with mucosal ulcerative colitis (MUC), 95% (21/22) had a functioning pouch 6 months after surgery. For patients with Crohn's disease (CD) 60% (6/10) have maintained a functioning pouch. Of the 30 patients with functioning pouches, 17 (57%) rated their quality of life as either "good" or "excellent," the remaining 13 (43%) selected "fair" or "poor." All said they would choose repeat IPAA surgery again. An SF-36 Health Survey completed by all patients with a functioning pouch at follow-up showed a mean physical component scale of 46.4 and a mean mental component scale of 47.6, scores well within the normal limit.

CONCLUSIONS: Repeat IPAA can often salvage pelvic pouches in patients with MUC who suffer major chronic perianastomotic and pelvic sepsis. Patients who had successful repeat IPAA surgery often report functional problems but would still choose to have the surgery again. For patients with CD, ultimate pouch excision or fecal diversion have been required in 40% indicating a guarded prognosis for these patients. Data on the success of the procedure for patients with indeterminate colitis and familial adenomatous polyposis were inconclusive because of small sample sizes.

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