Proctocolectomy is associated with a higher complication rate but carries a lower recurrence rate than total colectomy and ileorectal anastomosis in Crohn colitis

Scand J Gastroenterol. 1999 Dec;34(12):1212-5. doi: 10.1080/003655299750024724.

Abstract

Background: Most patients with extensive colonic Crohn disease are treated with total colectomy and ileorectal anastomosis or, when there is severe anorectal disease, with proctocolectomy. This study was undertaken to compare postoperative complications and recurrence rates for these two operations.

Methods: Eighty-six patients who underwent a single-stage proctocolectomy and 65 who underwent total colectomy and ileorectal anastomosis for colonic Crohn disease were retrospectively reviewed.

Results: Anorectal disease (severe proctitis, perianal sepsis, complex fistula) was seen in 77 patients (90%) at proctocolectomy, compared with 7 patients (11%) at colectomy and ileorectal anastomosis (P < 0.0001). After proctocolectomy the commonest complication was perineal wound sepsis (36%). After colectomy and ileorectal anastomosis only three patients (5%) developed anastomotic leak. The overall complication rate was 53% after proctocolectomy compared with 32% after colectomy and ileorectal anastomosis (P = 0.02). Twenty-four patients (29%) after proctocolectomy and 43 patients (68%) after colectomy and ileorectal anastomosis developed symptomatic recurrence (P < 0.0001). After proctocolectomy the 5-, 10-, and 15-year cumulative reoperation rate for recurrence were 13%, 16%, and 26%, which were significantly lower than the 29%, 46%, and 48% after colectomy and ileorectal anastomosis (P = 0.002).

Conclusions: The overall complication rate was lower after colectomy and ileorectal anastomosis than after proctocolectomy. However, proctocolectomy was associated with a lower incidence of reoperation for recurrence than colectomy and ileorectal anastomosis.

MeSH terms

  • Anastomosis, Surgical
  • Colectomy / adverse effects
  • Colectomy / methods*
  • Colectomy / mortality
  • Crohn Disease / surgery*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Postoperative Complications*
  • Proctocolectomy, Restorative / adverse effects
  • Proctocolectomy, Restorative / methods*
  • Proctocolectomy, Restorative / mortality
  • Recurrence
  • Retrospective Studies