Purpose: There is a difference of opinion concerning the role of ileal pouch-anal anastomosis in Crohn's disease, even in the absence of small-bowel or perianal disease. One view is that ileal pouch-anal anastomosis should never be entertained, the other is that ileal pouch-anal anastomosis, like ileoproctostomy, can be justified sometimes, because it allows young people a period of stoma-free life. The aim of this study was to examine the outcome of ileal pouch-anal anastomosis and to contrast it with ileoproctostomy in patients with Crohn's disease without small-bowel or perianal disease.
Methods: Ileal pouch-anal anastomosis was performed in 23 patients with Crohn's disease (12 of whom had evidence of Crohn's disease at the time of operation and 11 who were eventually found to have Crohn's disease as a result of complications) and ileoproctostomy in 35. Patients were matched for age, gender, follow-up, and medication, but all ileoproctostomy cases had relative rectal sparing. Thus, the groups were not comparable and the reasons for ileal pouch-anal anastomosis and ileoproctostomy were therefore quite different.
Results: The outcome in ileal pouch-anal anastomosis at a mean follow-up of 10.2 years was pouch excision, 11 (47.8 percent); proximal stoma, 1 (4.3 percent; patient preference); average small-bowel resection, 65 cm; persistent perineal sinus, 8 of 11 having pouch excision (73 percent); and mean time in hospital, 37 (range, 8-108) days. Of those in circuit having ileal pouch-anal anastomosis (n = 12), 24-hour bowel frequency was 6, with no incontinence or urgency, but 6 (50 percent) were on medication. When ileal pouch-anal anastomosis was done for Crohn's disease in the resection specimen, only 4 of 12 (33 percent) were excised compared with 7 of 11 (64 percent) in whom the diagnosis was made as a result of complications. The outcome in ileoproctostomy at a mean follow-up of 10.9 years was rectal excision in 3 (8 percent), proximal stoma in 1 (3 percent), average small-bowel resection was 15 cm, persistent perineal sinus in 1 (3 percent), and time in hospital was 21 (range, 8-36) days. Of those in circuit (n = 32), 24-hour bowel frequency was 5, 2 had incontinence, 3 had urgency, and 12 (36 percent) were taking medication.
Conclusions: These results indicate that the overall outcome of ileal pouch-anal anastomosis is inferior to that of ileoproctostomy, especially if Crohn's disease was diagnosed as a result of complications. Nevertheless, the functional results of those with a successful outcome are comparable.