Purpose: The aim of this study was to determine the outcome of pouch salvage operations and the factors that may influence successful reconstructions.
Methods: This retrospective review includes data from 198 patients who had undergone restorative proctocolectomy at a single institution during an 11-year period. All patients who had undergone attempted pouch salvage and who still had a pouch in situ were reviewed by both postal questionnaire and at interview in the outpatients clinic.
Results: Of 198 patients who underwent restorative proctocolectomy and ileal pouch-anal anastomosis, 27 (13.6 percent) presented with pouch-specific complications requiring pouch salvage. A further five patients requiring pouch salvage were referred from other centers. Of 32 patients who underwent attempted pouch salvage, 16 (50 percent) had a successful outcome, 12 (37.5 percent) had pouch excision, and 3 (9 percent) are still defunctioned. There was one death (3 percent) in this series. Pelvic sepsis was a major cause of pouch failure, being present in 50 percent (8/16) of failed salvage procedures, and accounting for 58 percent (7/12) of pouch excisions.
Conclusions: Salvage surgery for major complications following ileoanal pouch construction is worthwhile in the absence of major pelvic sepsis. Overall success rate is 50 percent, and these results may be acceptable to highly motivated patients.