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Ann Surg. 2002 Jul;236(1):43-8.

Equivalent function, quality of life and pouch survival rates after ileal pouch-anal anastomosis for indeterminate and ulcerative colitis.

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  • 1Department of Colorectal Surgery, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, Ohio 44195, USA.



To compare the function, complications, and quality of life after ileal pouch-anal anastomosis (IPAA) for patients with indeterminate colitis (IndC) and ulcerative colitis (UC).


Reports on the outcome of IPAA for IndC have been inconclusive because of the small numbers available for analysis. Concerns about functional outcome, infectious perineal complications, pouch loss and the development of Crohn's disease remain, while there is no data on the quality of life after IPAA for IndC.


One thousand nine hundred and eleven patients undergoing IPAA for Ind and UC from 1983 to 1999 were evaluated. IndC was confirmed by repeat pathologic evaluation in 115 patients. Functional outcome and quality of life were assessed prospectively for all office visits (IndC = 230; UC = 5388) using previously reported systems. Complications were evaluated retrospectively.


Functional results and the incidence of anastomotic complications and major pouch fistulae were the same in UC and IndC patients. Although IndC patients were more likely to develop minor perineal fistulae, pelvic abscess, and Crohn's disease, the rate of pouch failure was 3.4%, identical to that of UC patients. There was no clinically significant difference in quality of life, or satisfaction with IPAA surgery. Patients were equally happy to recommend surgery to IndC or UC patients, but 3% fewer IndC would undergo the same surgery again for their disease.


While functional outcome, quality of life, and pouch survival rates are equivalent after IPAA for IndC and UC, there is an increase in some complications and the late diagnosis of Crohn's disease. Over 93% of IndC patients would undergo the same procedure again, and 98% would recommend IPAA to others with IndC. Patients with IndC should not be precluded from having IPAA surgery.

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