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Dis Colon Rectum. 1996 Dec;39(12):1404-8.

Quality of life after prophylactic colectomy and ileorectal anastomosis in patients with familial adenomatous polyposis.

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  • 1Department of Colorectal Surgery, Cleveland Clinic, Ohio, USA.



Prophylactic colectomy or proctocolectomy is standard treatment for colorectal manifestation of familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP), a dominantly inherited disorder for which the risk of developing colorectal cancer in an untreated patient is close to 100 percent. Hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC) is also dominantly inherited but has a lower risk of colorectal cancer than FAP and does not have a clinically obvious phenotype. The role of prophylactic colectomy in patients with HNPCC is controversial.


This study was performed to examine the outcome of colectomy and ileorectal anastomosis (IRA) so its use as a prophylactic procedure can be better evaluated.


Records of all patients undergoing IRA for FAP between 1985 and 1993 were reviewed. Demographic data and data about the operation were collected. Surgical outcome data included length of hospital stay, complications, bowel function, quality of life, and patient satisfaction.


There were 51 patients with a median age of 28 years; 24 were male. All but eight patients were asymptomatic, and all had less than 1,000 polyps in the resected specimen. Mean surgery time was 3.5 hours, mean blood loss was 406 ml, and median length of hospital stay was seven days. There were no deaths, and eight patients (16 percent) had complications. Mean number of stools per day after median follow-up of 4.2 years was 3.6. Only 11 patients had nighttime stooling. Four patients reported seepage, 9 had some incontinence, and 16 had urgency. Quality of life, rated on a scale of 0 to 10, was 7 or above in 44 of 48 assessed patients. Quality of health was rated 7 or higher in all 48 patients, energy level was 7 or higher in 39 patients, and overall happiness with surgery was 7 or higher in 47 patients.


Colectomy and IRA is a relatively safe operation that results in minimum disturbance of bowel function. Patient satisfaction is usually high. Prophylactic colectomy can be offered to HNPCC gene carriers with a greater understanding of the likely outcome of surgery.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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