Ileal pouch anal anastomosis (IPAA) is the standard procedure for reconstruction after colectomy for ulcerative colitis (UC). However, ileorectal anastomosis (IRA) as an alternative has, recently experienced a revival. This study from a single center compares the clinical outcomes of these procedures.Methods
From 1992 to 2006, 253 patients consecutively underwent either IRA (n=105) or IPAA (n=148). Selection to either procedure was determined on the basis of rectal inflammation, presence of dysplasia/cancer or patient preferences. Patient-records were retrospectively evaluated. Mean follow-up time was 5.4 and 6.3 years respectively.Results
Major postoperative complications occurred in 12.4% of patients after IRA and in 12.8% after IPAA (ns). Complications of any kind after IRA or IPAA, even including subsequent stoma-closure, occurred in 23.8% and 39.9% respectively (p < 0.01). Estimated cumulative failure rates after 5 and 10 years were 10.1% and 24.1% for IRA and 6.1% and 18.6% for IPAA respectively (ns). The most common cause for failure was intractable proctitis (4.8%) and unspecified dysfunction (4.8%) respectively. At follow-up 76.9% of patients with IRA had proctitis and 34.1% with IPAA had pouchitis. Estimated cumulative cancer-risk after 10, 20 and 25 year duration of disease was 0.0%, 2.1% and 8.7% for IRA. Figures for IPAA were 0.7%, 1.8% and 1.8% (ns).Conclusion
Failure-rates did not significantly differ between patients operated with IRA or IPAA. Patients operated with IPAA had a higher cumulative number of postoperative complications. The high long-term cancer-risk after IRA indicates that this procedure should be an interim solution in younger patients.