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Dis Colon Rectum. 2003 Nov;46(11):1508-12.

Quality-of-life assessment of patients after ileal pouch-anal anastomosis for slow-transit constipation with rectal inertia.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, Beaumont Hospital Dublin, Dublin, Ireland.



Severe idiopathic constipation with rectal inertia represents a challenging medical problem that, in extremis, might warrant surgery. We studied a group of patients who have undergone proctocolectomy and ileal pouch-anal anastomosis for this problem. The purpose was to assess the functional success of this procedure and its impact on the social function of the patients.


Patients with functional, intractable constipation have one motion or less per week and are laxative-dependent. The indication for surgery was based on failure of long-term medical therapy. The selection criteria were normal colonoscopy, normal anal manometry and pudendal nerve latency test, and abnormal transit study and abnormal video proctography. The functional outcome after surgery was assessed by anal manometry and stool frequency. Quality of life was analyzed using the Rand health survey 1.0 consisting of a comprehensive questionnaire used preoperatively and postoperatively with emphasis on physical function, role limitation because of functional/emotional problems, social function, pain, and general health.


Fifteen patients (14 females) underwent ileal pouch-anal anastomosis over a seven-year period (1993-1999). The mean age was 41 (range, 25-47) years. All had a temporary defunctioning loop ileostomy fashioned, and there were no anastomotic leaks. Two patients required pouch excision within 18 months because of intractable pelvic pain. The mean stool frequency was eight (range, 3-12) per day at the first follow-up. At the second follow-up, this had improved to five (range, 2-6) per day. The mean resting and squeeze anal pressures preoperatively were 82 cm H2O and 104 mmHg, respectively, and were unchanged after surgery. Significant improvement in lifestyle scores were recorded in the categories of physical function, social function, and pain at the first follow-up and in all categories at the second follow-up (P < 0.05).


Restorative proctocolectomy is an option in selected patients and leads to progressive improvement in quality of life.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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