BACKGROUND: The risks and benefits of pouch excision and end ileostomy creation when compared to the alternative option of a permanent diversion with the pouch left in situ when restoration of intestinal continuity is not pursued for patients who develop pouch failure after IPAA have not been well characterized.
OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to compare the early and long-term outcomes after permanent diversion with the pouch left in situ vs pouch excision with end ileostomy creation for pouch failure.
DESIGN: This study is a retrospective review of prospectively gathered data.
SETTINGS: This investigation was conducted at a tertiary center.
PATIENTS: Patients with pouch failure who underwent a permanent ileostomy with the pouch left in situ and those who underwent pouch excision were included in the study.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: The primary outcomes measured were the perioperative outcomes and quality of life using the pouch and Short Form 12 questionnaires.
RESULTS: One hundred thirty-six patients with pouch failure underwent either pouch left in situ (n = 31) or pouch excision (n = 105). Age (p = 0.72), sex (p = 0.72), ASA score (p = 0.22), BMI (p = 0.83), disease duration (p = 0.74), time to surgery for pouch failure (p = 0.053), diagnosis at pouch failure (p = 0.18), and follow-up (p = 0.76) were similar. The predominant reason for pouch failure was septic complications in 15 (48.4%) patients in the pouch left in situ group and 39 (37.1%) patients in the pouch excision group (p = 0.3). Thirty-day complications, including prolonged ileus (p = 0.59), pelvic abscess (p = 1.0), wound infection (p = 1.0), and bowel obstruction (p = 1.0), were similar. At the most recent follow-up (median, 9.9 y), quality of life (p = 0.005) and health (p = 0.008), current energy level (p = 0.026), Cleveland Global Quality of Life score (p = 0.005), and Short Form 12 mental (p = 0.004) and physical (p = 0.014) component scales were significantly higher after pouch excision than after pouch left in situ. Urinary and sexual function was similar between the groups. Anal pain (n = 4) and seepage with pad use (n = 8) were the predominant concerns of the pouch left in situ group on long-term follow-up. None of the 18 patients with pouch in situ, for whom information relating to long-term pouch surveillance was available, developed dysplasia or cancer.
LIMITATIONS: This study was limited by its retrospective nature.
CONCLUSIONS: Although technically more challenging, pouch excision, rather than pouch left in situ, is the preferable option for patients who develop pouch failure and are not candidates for restoration of intestinal continuity. Because pouch left in situ was not associated with neoplasia, this option is a reasonable intermediate or long-term alternative when pouch excision is not feasible or advisable.