Controversy surrounds the optimal surgical management of the distal rectal remnant during colectomy for ulcerative colitis (UC) and the potential benefit from the placement of a rectal catheter for remnant drainage. This study reviews the clinical outcomes of patients who have undergone colectomy for UC with intra-peritoneal closure of the rectal remnant.
Analysis of prospective data lodged on Lothian Surgical Audit databases from patients treated in a tertiary coloproctology unit over 11 years.
One hundred and fifty-nine patients were identified, the mean age was 41.9 years, 63% were men. Failure of maximal medical therapy necessitated surgery for 78.1% patients, while 12.6% had acute perforation and 11.9% had toxic megacolon. Complications included five (3.1%) stump dehiscences, eight (5.0%) intra-abdominal/pelvic collections, four (2.5%) significant wound infections, three (1.9%) small bowel obstructions and three (1.9%) deaths. Within the follow-up period, 62.3% patients had an ileo-pouch anal anastomosis (IPAA), 7.5% patients had a completion proctectomy, 10.1% patients within the series had a retained rectal remnant after 1 year follow up, the remaining patients had less than 1 year follow up.
The intra-peritoneal rectal stump following colectomy for UC is associated with low rates of pelvic sepsis and a high proportion of patients successfully proceeding to IPAA.