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Dig Surg. 2004;21(5-6):440-6. Epub 2005 Jan 19.

A prospective audit of the complications of loop ileostomy construction and takedown.

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Colorectal Surgery Unit, Hospital Clínico, University of Valencia, Spain.



A prospective review of the complications of ileostomy construction and takedown.


One hundred twenty-seven consecutive patients undergoing construction of a loop ileostomy were included in a prospective nonrandomized computer database. Complications of the loop ileostomy were assessed prior to and after closure. Three closure techniques were performed [enterotomy suture (25.7%), resection and hand sewn (31.2%) or stapled anastomosis (43.1%)] and compared.


One hundred twenty-seven (73 male, 54 female) patients, mean age 54 years were included from 1992 to 2002. Seventy-two patients underwent anterior resection for low rectal carcinoma, 30 an ileoanal pouch for ulcerative colitis and 25 for miscellaneous conditions. Fifty-nine pre-takedown complications occurred in 50 (39.4%) patients. The most common were dermatitis (12.6%) and erythema (7.1%). The most severe were dehydration in 1 patient and stomal prolapse in 4 patients. Closure was associated with a complication rate of 33.1% and a mortality rate of 0.9%. Wound infection occurred in 18.3% and small bowel obstruction in 4.6%. Anastomotic leak requiring reanastomosis occurred in 2.8% and enterocutaneous fistula treated conservatively in 5.5%. There were no statistically significant differences in morbidity between closure techniques (p = 0.892). There were no statistically significant differences in complications (p = 0.516) between patients with ulcerative colitis and those with neoplasia (39.29% vs. 32.2%).


Loop ileostomy construction and takedown is associated with considerable morbidity, mostly minor. No differences exist between technique used for closure or the baseline pathology of the patient.

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