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Restorative Proctocolectomy and Ileal Pouch-Anal Anastomosis in Children

Lillehei, Craig W. M.D.1; Leichtner, Alan M.D.2; Bousvaros, Athos M.D., M.P.H.2; Shamberger, Robert C. M.D.1

doi: 10.1007/DCR.0b013e3181a8fd5f
Original Contribution

PURPOSE: This study was designed to evaluate the results of restorative proctocolectomy with distal rectal mucosectomy and ileal pouch-anal anastomosis in children.

METHODS: This study is a retrospective review of 100 consecutively referred children (<18 years old) who underwent reconstruction with a J-pouch of ileum and preservation of the transitional anorectal epithelium by the same two-surgeon team. Temporary diverting ileostomy was used. The main outcome measures were daytime and nocturnal fecal continence, bowel movements per day, and complications including pouchitis, ileoanal stricture, or postoperative small-bowel obstruction.

RESULTS: Average age of the 100 children (48 males/52 females) was 13.2 years (range, 2.95–17.99). All 25 children with familial adenomatous polyposis had proctocolectomy and reconstruction performed simultaneously. Of 75 children with ulcerative colitis, 50 (67%) had their colectomy followed by reconstruction after an interval ranging from 2 months to 4.4 years. Median postoperative follow-up was 2.6 years. Daytime fecal continence was achieved in 98 children, although 4 reported rare accidents. Nighttime continence was achieved in 93 children, of whom 14 reported rare accidents. The average frequency of bowel movements was 5.43/day (±2.22). Only one child with polyposis had pouchitis. Of 75 children with ulcerative colitis, 35 had symptoms consistent with pouchitis; of these 35 children, 10 required prolonged treatment. The most frequent postoperative complication was ileoanal stricture requiring operative dilatation and/or anoplasty (18 children). Bowel obstruction requiring surgery occurred in 18 children. One child eventually required pouchectomy for probable Crohn’s disease.

CONCLUSIONS: Excellent results can be achieved with restorative proctocolectomy in children with respect to fecal continence and stool frequency. However, with ulcerative colitis, a substantial risk of pouchitis remains.

1 Department of Surgery, Children’s Hospital Boston, Boston, Massachusetts

2 Department of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology, Children’s Hospital Boston, Boston, Massachusetts

Presented at the 88th Annual Meeting of the New England Surgical Society, Burlington, Vermont, September 28 to 30, 2007.

Address of correspondence: Craig W. Lillehei, M.D., Children’s Hospital Boston, Fegan 3, 300 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115. E-mail:

© The ASCRS 2009