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Stoma reversal in functional bowel disease: managing patient choice

Lookup NU author(s): Stefan Plusa


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INTRODUCTION: This study aims to assess the rate of stoma reversal in patients who have undergone stoma formation with permanent intent for functional bowel disorder. We also assessed the incidence of malignancy in defunctioned bowel. METHODS: This is a retrospective study of the outcomes of patients undergoing planned permanent stoma formation for functional bowel disorder over a 10-year period at a single tertiary centre. RESULTS: Of 92 patients included in the study, 11 (12%) requested and underwent stoma reversal following stoma formation for functional bowel disorder. Of 84 patients with defunctioned bowel left in situ, two (2%) developed bowel malignancy during our study period. CONCLUSIONS: Stoma formation may be necessary for patients with incontinence and constipation when conservative treatments fail. Some patients have very firm views about the need for a stoma, but a significant proportion of patients do not cope with a stoma and request reversal, therefore patient selection and pre-procedure counselling are important. The risk of developing malignant disease in the defunctioned colon is potentially significant, and consideration should be given to appropriate surveillance in this group of patients. Evidence for stoma formation in functional gastrointestinal disorders is lacking; this study reports outcomes in a large cohort of patients over a long period, and highlights areas where further research and practice guidelines are needed. If large numbers of patients are undergoing stoma reversal posing significant mortality and morbidity risks, this suggests that patient selection and preoperative counselling need refinement.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Han LE, Bean A, Emmett C, Plusa SM

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Annals of the Royal College of Surgeons of England

Year: 2021

Volume: 103

Issue: 10

Pages: 745-751

Print publication date: 01/11/2021

Online publication date: 20/08/2021

Acceptance date: 02/04/2018

ISSN (electronic): 0035-8843

Publisher: The Royal College of Surgeons of England


DOI: 10.1308/rcsann.2021.0087

PubMed id: 34414788


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