Single-stage treatment for malignant left-sided colonic obstruction: a prospective randomized clinical trial comparing subtotal colectomy with segmental resection following intraoperative irrigation. The SCOTIA Study Group. Subtotal Colectomy versus On-table Irrigation and Anastomosis

Br J Surg. 1995 Dec;82(12):1622-7. doi: 10.1002/bjs.1800821211.


This multicentre study is the first prospective randomized trial to compare subtotal colectomy with segmental resection and primary anastomosis following intraoperative irrigation for the management of malignant left-sided colonic obstruction. Of the 91 eligible patients recruited by 12 centres, 47 were randomized to subtotal colectomy and 44 to on-table irrigation and segmental colectomy. Hospital mortality and complication rates did not differ significantly, but 4 months after operation increased bowel frequency (three or more bowel movements per day) was significantly more common in the subtotal colectomy group (14 of 35 versus four of 35, chi 2 = 6.06, 1 d.f., P = 0.01). More patients in the subtotal colectomy group reported that they had consulted their general practitioner with bowel problems than did those in the segmental resection group (15 of 37 versus three of 35, chi 2 = 8.17, 1 d.f., P = 0.004). Segmental resection following intraoperative irrigation is the preferred option except when there is caecal perforation or if synchronous neoplasms are present in the colon, when subtotal colectomy is more appropriate.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Colectomy / methods*
  • Colonic Neoplasms / physiopathology
  • Colonic Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Defecation
  • Family Practice
  • Female
  • Hospital Mortality
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Obstruction / physiopathology
  • Intestinal Obstruction / surgery*
  • Intraoperative Care
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Postoperative Care
  • Prospective Studies
  • Therapeutic Irrigation
  • Treatment Outcome