Ileorectal Anastomosis for Slow Transit Constipation: Long-Term Functional and Quality of Life Results

Imran Hassan, John H. Pemberton, Tonia M. Young-Fadok, Y. Nancy You, Ernesto R R. Drelichman, Doris Rath-Harvey, Cathy D. Schleck, Dirk R. Larson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


The results of colectomy and ileorectal anastomosis (IRA) in patients diagnosed by physiologic testing as having slow transit constipation (STC) have been reported. The durability of functional results and long-term quality of life (QoL) in these patients, however, has not been established. Between 1987 and 2002, 3670 patients were evaluated for constipation at our institution; 110 (3%) fulfilled the criteria for STC and underwent an IRA. Patients were prospectively followed and functional outcomes assessed annually by standardized questionnaires. After a median follow-up of 11 years, 104 eligible patients were mailed validated questionnaires to assess functional outcomes and QoL (Knowles-Eccersley-Scott Symptom [KESS] score, the Irritable Bowel Syndrome Quality of Life [IBS-QOL], and the SF-12 health survey). Prospectively assessed functional data was available on 85 of 104 (82%) eligible patients. At last follow-up, improvement of constipation and satisfaction with bowel function was reported by 98% and 85% of patients, respectively. Performance measures including social activity, household work, sexual life, and family relationships were reported to have improved or were not affected as a result of surgery by 75%, 86%, 81%, and 86% of the patients respectively. Fifty-nine patients (57%) responded to the study questionnaires. All 59 patients reported their constipation to be better since IRA, 83% did not require any medication, and 85% reported being satisfied with bowel function. The KESS scores of patients undergoing IRA for STC (median 6, range 0-35) were lower than reported scores of STC patients not operated upon (median 21, range 11-35, P < 0.001) indicating symptomatic improvement after surgery. Mean IBS-QOL scores were similar to reported scores of patients undergoing IRA for other conditions [80 (23) versus 84 (16)], P = 0.7). Mean SF-12 physical and mental summary scores were similar to reported SF-12 scores of the normal population (49.5 versus 50 and P = 0.70, 48.7 versus 50, P = 0.42, respectively). Ileorectal anastomosis in appropriately selected patients with slow transit constipation results in durable symptomatic relief and a long-term quality of life indistinguishable from the general population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1330-1337
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Gastrointestinal Surgery
Issue number10
StatePublished - Dec 2006


  • Slow transit constipation
  • ileorectal anastomosis
  • quality of life

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Gastroenterology


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