A total of 168 restorative proctocolectomies have been performed without mortality during the past nine years. Morbidity from pelvic sepsis (12%), ileoanal stricture (15%), and pouch related fistulas (16%) have become less with increasing experience of the operation. Pouch excision, which occurred in 30% of the first 50 patients was undertaken in only 4% in the last 68 patients. Despite this, intestinal obstruction (18%) continues to complicate the operation. We have abandoned restorative proctocolectomy after failed ileorectal anastomosis in patients with slow transit constipation as half have now requested pouch excision because of poor results. Failure to identify Crohn's disease continues to influence the outcome: in 10 patients now known to have Crohn's disease six developed post operative fistulas, three have required pouch excision. Sexual impairment has occurred in three male patients (4%). Ten women had children after operation, eight uncomplicated vaginal deliveries occurred without impaired continence. Seven of nine patients over 60 years of age have had a successful outcome. Our data also indicate that the operation may be justified in distal disease if urgency is socially inconvenient. Frequency of defecation is usually less than three per 24 hours in patients with familial adenomatous polyposis but remains variable in those with ulcerative colitis.
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