BACKGROUND: During the course of their disease, about 30% of patients with ulcerative colitis (UC) will undergo proctocolectomy with ileal pouch-anal anastomosis (IPAA). We evaluated the outcome of IPAA in a Belgian referral center., METHODS: Clinical charts were reviewed for pre- and postoperative disease course, functional outcome, and complications in all patients with UC (n = 182) and indeterminate colitis (n = 2) who underwent IPAA in 1990-2004., RESULTS: Follow-up data were available in 173 out of 184 patients (67 female, median age at proctocolectomy 39.0 years). Median functional Oresland score 1 year after IPAA was 3 (range 0-11). Early postoperative complications were seen in 27% of patients. After a median (interquartile range) follow-up of 6.5 (3.4-9.9) years, 35% of patients developed septic and/or obstructive complications. Forty-six percent of patients developed at least 1 episode of pouchitis. Risk factors for pouchitis were the presence of extraintestinal manifestations (odds ratio [OR] 1.92 (1.23-3.01), P = 0.004) and younger age at proctocolectomy (P = 0.004). Chronic pouchitis was present in 33 patients and associated with extraintestinal manifestations (OR 2.93 (1.13-7.62), P = 0.027), backwash ileitis (OR 9.28 (1.71-50.49), P = 0.010), and length of follow-up (P = 0.004). Pouch failure occurred in 5% of patients., CONCLUSIONS: Although proctocolectomy with IPAA surgery has a good functional outcome, postoperative complications, especially pouchitis, remain considerable in patients with UC.
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