Factors affecting timing of closure and non-reversal of temporary ileostomies

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© 2015, The Author(s). Background: Although stoma closure is considered a simple surgical intervention, the interval between construction and reversal is often prolonged, and some ileostomies may never be reversed. We evaluated possible predictors for non-reversal and prolonged interval between construction and reversal. Material and methods: In a cohort study of ileostomy patients treated in a large teaching hospital, we collected data from the surgical complication and enterostomal therapists’ registries between January 2001 and December 2011. Parameters responsible for morbidity, mortality, length of stay and time interval between construction and reversal were analysed. Results: Of 485 intentionally temporary ileostomies, 359 were reversed after a median of 5.6 months (IQR 3.8–8.9 months), while 126 (26 %) remained permanent. End ileostomy and intra-abdominal abscess independently delayed reversal. Age, end ileostomy, higher body mass index and preoperative radiotherapy were independent factors for non-reversal. Median duration of hospitalisation for reversal was 7.0 days (5–13 days). Morbidity and mortality were 31 and 0.9 %, respectively. In 20 patients (5.5 %), re-ileostomy was necessary. Conclusions: A substantial number of ileostomies that are intended to be temporary will never be reversed. If reversed, the interval between construction and reversal is longer than anticipated, while morbidity after reversal and duration of hospitalisation are considerable. Besides a temporary ileostomy, there are two other options: no diversion or a permanent colostomy. Shared decision-making is to be preferred in these situations.




Sier, M. F., van Gelder, L., Ubbink, D. T., Bemelman, W. A., & Oostenbroek, R. J. (2015). Factors affecting timing of closure and non-reversal of temporary ileostomies. International Journal of Colorectal Disease, 30(9), 1185–1192. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00384-015-2253-3

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