PURPOSE: This study was designed to assess the costs and outcomes of colostomy and colostomy reversal in patients with diverticulitis and examine the impact of such procedures on the health care system.
METHODS: We employed a retrospective design and used a Washington State administrative database to identify patients undergoing operations with colostomy (1987-2002) who were followed over time. Descriptive and comparative analysis was performed, focusing on patients with diverticulitis.
RESULTS: There were 16,556 patients who underwent colostomy and 5,420 (32.7 percent) were for diverticulitis and its related complications (mean age, 64.8 +/- 15.1 years; 53.2 percent female). In patients with diverticulitis, the rate of colostomy reversal was 56.3 percent (80 percent in patients less than 50 years, and 30 percent in patients over 77 years). The in-hospital mortality rate after colostomy reversal was 0.36 percent, and was 2.6 percent in those over 77 years of age. After colostomy reversal a second stoma was used in 3.4 percent, reoperation was required for bleeding complications in 0.6 percent, and infectious complications were noted in 2 percent. The length of time from colostomy to its reversal was approximately five months (138.1 +/- 164 days; interquartile range, 72-156). The relationship between the length of time from colostomy to reversal was evaluated and the adjusted odds of a second stoma being used at the time of colostomy reversal were 45 percent higher (odds ratio, 1.45; 95 percent confidence interval, 1.22, 1.73) for each increase in time interval (<3, 6-9, 9-12, >12 months).
CONCLUSIONS: One-third of all colostomies were related to diverticulitis and only 56 percent were reversed. We identified a higher than expected mortality rate among older patients undergoing colostomy reversal. The impact of colostomy and reversal operations on both patients and the health care system is significant.
(C) The ASCRS 2005