One hundred thirty-one patients underwent ileorectal anastomosis (IRA) for Crohn's colitis. Preoperatively, 84 patients (63 percent) were found to have mild or moderate proctitis and 47 (37 percent) had rectal sparing. Sixty-eight (52 percent) had associated small bowel disease, and 20 (15 percent) had perianal disease. Sixty-five IRAs were performed at the time of subtotal colectomy, while 56 were done after previous surgery. Anastomotic leaks occurred in four patients. There were no operative deaths. Thirteen patients (10 percent) with protecting stomas never underwent closure. Among the remaining 118 patients with functioning IRAs, 30 (23 percent) required later proctectomy and 16 (13 percent) required proximal diversion, with the mean period with a functioning IRA in these 46 patients being 4.1 years (range, 6.2 months-12.7 years). An additional 13 patients required preanastomotic resection and neo-IRA, and 11 required proximal small bowel resection. The mean duration of function of all 118 IRAs was 9.2 years. At the time of review, after a mean follow-up of 9.5 years, 72 patients (61 percent) retained a functioning IRA, with 44 being free of disease, while 28 were being treated with steroids or antidiarrheal medication. The mean stool frequency was 4.7 per day. In patients with Crohn's colitis, IRA should be considered as an alternative to proctocolectomy if the rectum is not severely diseased and sphincter function is not compromised.
Read at the meeting of The American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons, Boston, Massachusetts, May 12 to 17, 1991.
© The ASCRS 1992