Total abdominal colectomy vs. restorative total proctocolectomy as the initial approach to medically refractory ulcerative colitis.

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There is scant data assessing the consequences of staging restorative proctocolectomy for ulcerative colitis. The aim of the study is to compare outcomes of initial vs. staged restorative proctocolectomy.


Patients completing restorative proctocolectomy, including ileostomy reversal, during 2006-2012 were identified from an IRB-approved database. Demographics, treatment variables, and perioperative outcomes were assessed.


Out of 521 patients, 322 (62%) underwent initial total abdominal colectomy before restorative proctectomy. This group was associated with more common preoperative anemia, leukocytosis, hypoalbuminemia, severe colitis, steroids and biologics use, decreased proximal ileostomy rate at the time of completion restorative proctectomy (92.5 vs 97.5%, p = 0.023), shorter hospital stay (6.6 vs 7.8, p < 0.001), and marginally decreased pelvic sepsis rate (6.2 vs 11.1%, p = 0.05) compared with patients having initial restorative proctocolectomy. However, they also required longer combined postoperative hospital stays (17 vs 12 days, p < 0.001) and treatment span (10.4 vs 5.7 months, p < 0.001) to complete all surgical stages and they were associated with increased overall postoperative surgical site infection, hemorrhage, and small bowel obstruction rates. Pouch function and QOL were comparable between the groups, except for increased nightly bowel movements in the initial abdominal colectomy group (2.5 ± 2.2 vs 2.1 ± 1.8, p = 0.012).


Patients undergoing initial total abdominal colectomy require longer treatment time and experience increased overall morbidity, but ultimately experience comparable ileal pouch outcomes when compared to patients undergoing initial restorative proctocolectomy.

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