Purpose: Previous studies on recurrence and reoperation after colectomy in Crohn's colitis have been based on heterogeneous groups of patients, and divergent findings may be explained by referral biases and small numbers of patients. The aim of this study was to account for recurrence rates, present risk factors for recurrence after primary colectomy, and account for the ultimate risk of having a stoma after colectomy with ileorectal anastomosis in patients with Crohn's colitis.
Methods: Data on the primary resection, postoperative recurrence, influence of concomitant risk factors, frequency of stoma operations and proctectomy were evaluated retrospectively using multivariate analysis in a population-based cohort of 833 patients with Crohn's colitis.
Results: The cumulative 10-year risk of a symptomatic recurrence was 58 percent (95 percent confidence interval, 53-63 percent) and 47 percent (95 percent confidence interval, 42-52 percent), respectively, after colectomy with ileorectal anastomosis and segmental colonic resection. In colectomy with ileostomy, lower rates were found with respectively 24 percent (95 percent confidence interval, 18-30 percent) and 37 percent (95 percent confidence interval, 32-43 percent) after subtotal colectomy and proctocolectomy with ileostomy. The multivariate analysis showed that perianal disease, ileorectal anastomosis, and segmental resection were independent risk factors for postoperative recurrence. In 76 percent of patients with ileorectal anastomosis, a stoma-free function could be retained during a median follow-up of 12.5 years.
Conclusion: Colectomy with ileorectal anastomosis or segmental resection is a feasible option in the surgical treatment of Crohn's colitis, although anastomoses, in addition to perianal disease, carry an increased risk of recurrent disease.