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Chirurg. 1998 Oct;69(10):1045-51.

[Quality of life after proctocolectomy for ulcerative colitis].

[Article in German]

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Chirurgische Klinik und Poliklinik, Universit├Ąt Heidelberg.


Nowadays, restorative proctocolectomy is considered the "gold standard" in the surgical therapy of ulcerative colitis. Alternative procedures such as Brooke ileostomy or Kock pouch are limited to special indications. Preservation of function is the decisive advantage of the ileoanal pouch, but preservation of function is not equal to quality of life. Quality of life is a multidimensional concept that is difficult to define and measure. Quality of life can only be assessed by standardized and validated quality-of-life questionnaires. Preoperatively, patients with ulcerative colitis have a restricted quality of life, depending on the intensity of their disease. Proctocolectomy is the curative therapy and improves quality of life. When evaluating quality of life it is not essential if patients are treated by Brooke ileostomy or restorative proctocolectomy. The advantage of restorative proctocolectomy is the improvement in some aspects such as sexuality and physical activity. The "Total Quality-of-Life Index" is not improved. Preoperatively, patients should be informed that preservation of function by restorative proctocolectomy is accompanied by an increased postoperative morbidity in comparison to other procedures. Decreased quality-of-life results when complications occur postoperatively that cannot be controlled over a long period of time. In some cases excision of the ileoanal pouch may be the most sensible way of solving the problems. On the other hand, patients without complications and good function after ileoanal pouch procedure may achieve a quality of life comparable to that of healthy controls. Preoperatively, patients should be aware of this risk-benefit relationship and should share the responsibility of the decision for or against restorative proctocolectomy.

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