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In Crohn's disease, ten-year reoperative recurrence rates after resection range from 30 to 53 percent. To determine the effect of strictureplasty on reoperative “recurrence” rates, experience at a single tertiary care institution was reviewed.Records of all patients who underwent strictureplasty for Crohn's disease from June 1984 to July 1994 at a tertiary care institution were reviewed. Data collected included duration of disease, medical and surgical history related to Crohn's disease, indications for strictureplasty, and longterm outcome.One hundred sixty-two patients (87 male) underwent 191 operations for a total of 698 strictureplasties (Heineke-Mikulicz, 617; Finney's, 81). Mean number of strictureplasties was three, and mean patient age was 36 years. No mortality occurred. Cumulative five-year incidence of reoperative recurrence was 28 percent (95 percent confidence interval, 18.8-37.2 percent), with a median follow-up of 42 (range, 1-120) months. Obstructive symptoms were relieved in 98 percent of patients. To determine whether any difference in reoperative rates exists between patients who have strictureplasty alone and those who have strictureplasty with bowel resection, we divided patients in two groups, those receiving strictureplasty alone and those undergoing strictureplasty plus resection. For patients treated by strictureplasty alone (Group A, n=52; 32 percent), cumulative reoperative rate at five years was 31±9.6 (±standard error) and for patients with concomitant bowel resection (Group B, n=110; 68 percent), it was 27.2±5.4 (±standard error). No statistical difference was present between these two groups. Of patients undergoing strictureplasty alone (Group A), operative recurrence was managed by new strictureplasty in seven, by restrictureplasty in two, and by bowel resection in one. Among patients in Group B (strictureplasty and concomitant bowel resection), new strictureplasty was performed in 11, restrictureplasty in 6, and bowel resection in 9.Strictureplasty is a safe and effective procedure for Crohn's disease in selected patients. Reoperative rates are comparable with resective surgery, and most recurrences occur at new sites.