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Scand J Gastroenterol. 2006 Oct;41(10):1204-8.

Long-term outcome after intestinal resection for Crohn's disease.

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  • 1Department of Gastroenterological Surgery, Ullevål University Hospital, Oslo, Norway.



To assess the need for intestinal repeat resection for recurrence of Crohn's disease in patients observed for more than 20 years after the first resection.


Data were gathered retrospectively from the medical records of 53 (28 F) consecutive patients with Crohn's disease from May 1954 to December 2002. Median age at first intestinal resection was 24.5 (range 13-65) years, and median observation time thereafter was 26.5 (20.1-48.6) years. Disease location and behaviour were defined according to the Vienna classification.


The 53 patients had an average 2.7 and a median 2 intestinal resections. Out of 144 intestinal resections (77.1%) 111 were performed during the first three operations; no alterations in distribution of ileal, ileocolic and colic resections were found. From the first to the third operation there was an increase in penetrating disease from 15% to 39% (p=0.046) concomitant with a decrease in stricturing disease from 72% to 44% (p=0.048) of the patients. There was also a corresponding decrease in ileocolic disease from 45% to 5% (p=0.003) and a tendency towards an increase in ileal disease from 38% to 67%. One patient died (1.8%) from rectosigmoid perforation after the third resectional operation. Six patients needed reoperation (11.3%) for ileus, anastomotic bleeding, rectosigmoidal perforation and abdominal pain. Thirty-four patients (64.2%) needed intestinal repeat resection (median 8.3 years) during 25.3 years after the first repeat resection.


This study indicates a diminution of Crohn's disease activity with time, as demonstrated by no need for intestinal repeat resection more than 25 years after the first resection.

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