Total proctocolectomy with ileal pouch-anal anastomosis (IPAA) is the current gold standard in the surgical treatment of ulcerative colitis (UC) refractory to medical management. A procedure of significant magnitude carries its own risks including anastomotic failure, pelvic sepsis and a low rate of neoplastic degeneration overtime. Recent studies have shown that total colectomy with ileorectal anastomosis (IRA) has been associated with good long-term functional results in a selected group of UC patients amenable to undergo a strict surveillance for the relatively high risk of cancer in the rectum. This manuscript will review and compare the most recent literature on IRA and IPAA as it pertains to postoperative morbidity and mortality, failure rates, functional outcomes and cancer risk.
Keywords: Ileal pouch-anal anastomosis; Ileorectal anastomosis; Neoplastic degeneration; Retained rectum; Ulcerative colitis.