AIMS: A prospective randomised controlled trial was conducted to find out what influence the design of the pelvic reservoir had on the functional outcome. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Sixty patients received either a duplicated (J) or a quadruplicated (W) reservoir, constructed with either 30 or 40 cm of ileum. Each patient underwent laboratory tests of anorectal function before and one year after operation. RESULTS: One year after operation, 57 patients were available for assessment: each had good anal continence, though eight experienced minor leakage of mucus, and all were able to defer defecation for more than 15 minutes. Median bowel frequency in 24 hours (IQR) in patients with J reservoirs (5 (4-7)) did not differ significantly from that of patients with W reservoirs (5 (4-6)). Likewise, bowel frequency in patients with the smaller (30 cm) reservoirs did not differ significantly from bowel frequency in patients with the larger (40 cm) reservoirs. However, patients with large W40 reservoirs had the lowest bowel frequency of the four groups (median 4 per 24 hours, p = NS). The capacity and compliance of the W40 reservoirs were greater than those of the other types of reservoir, but the differences were not statistically significant. CONCLUSIONS: These findings provide support for the use of a relatively small (30 cm), duplicated (J) ileal reservoir, which is simple to construct with linear stapling instruments.
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