Outcomes following surgery for perforating Crohn's disease

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The most common indications for surgery for patients with ileocolic Crohn's disease are fibrostenotic or perforating disease. The objective was to compare surgical outcomes of patients with perforatingversusnon-perforating disease following ileocolic resection.


This was a retrospective review of all patients who had their first ileocolic resection between 1990 and 2010, identified from a prospectively maintained inflammatory bowel disease database. Demographic information, preoperative medication, intraoperative findings and postoperative outcome data were collected. Outcomes in patients who had an abscess drained before surgery or were found to have a fistula or abscess at surgery or at pathology were compared with outcomes in all others.


A total of 434 patients (56·2 per cent women) were included, 293 with perforating and 141 with non-perforating disease. Median age, tobacco use, and preoperative steroid and biological agent use were similar in the two groups. Forty patients (13·7 per cent) in the perforating group had abscesses drained before surgery and 251 patients had at least one fistula, most commonly to the sigmoid colon. Patients with perforating disease were more likely to require preoperative total parenteral nutrition, need another resection, have an ileostomy and a longer mean postoperative stay, and less likely to undergo a laparoscopic procedure. Patients in this group also developed more postoperative abscesses or leaks (4·8versus0 per cent;P= 0·006). The reoperation rate was similar (3·1versus0·7 per cent;P =0·178).


Patients with penetrating Crohn's disease are more likely to require a more complex procedure, and an ileostomy, and to a have longer postoperative stay.

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