Functional outcomes after ileal pouch-anal anastomosis for chronic ulcerative colitis

Ann Surg. 2000 Jun;231(6):919-26. doi: 10.1097/00000658-200006000-00017.


Objective: To assess long-term outcomes after ileal pouch-anal anastomosis (IPAA) for chronic ulcerative colitis (CUC) with specific emphasis on patient sex, childbirth, and age.

Summary background data: Childbirth and the process of aging affect pelvic floor and anal sphincter function independently. Early function after IPAA is good for most patients. Nonetheless, there are concerns about the impact of the aging process as well as pregnancy on long-term functional outcomes after IPAA.

Methods: Functional outcomes using a standardized questionnaire were prospectively assessed for each patient on an annual basis.

Results: Of the 1,454 patients who underwent IPAA for CUC between 1981 and 1994, 1,386 were part of this study. Median age was 32 years. Median length of follow-up was 8 years. Pelvic sepsis was the primary cause of pouch failure irrespective of sex or age. Functional outcomes were comparable between men and women. Eighty-five women who became pregnant after IPAA had pouch function, which was comparable with women who did not have a child. Daytime and nocturnal incontinence affected older patients more frequently than younger ones. Incontinence became more common the longer the follow-up in older patients, but this was not found in younger patients. Poor anal function led to pouch excision in only 3 of 204 older patients.

Conclusions: Incontinence rates were significantly higher in older patients after IPAA for CUC compared with younger patients. However, this did not contribute to a greater risk of pouch failure in these older patients. Patient sex and uncomplicated childbirth did not affect long-term functional outcomes.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Chronic Disease
  • Colitis, Ulcerative / surgery*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Proctocolectomy, Restorative*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Urinary Incontinence / etiology