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Randomized clinical trial comparing quality of life after straight and pouch coloanal reconstruction. BJS 2002; 89: 1108-1117.

Published: 29th November 2002

Authors: M. Sailer, K.‐H. Fuchs, M. Fein, A. Thiede

Background

Functional results after rectal resection with straight coloanal anastomosis are poor. While most functional aspects are improved with coloanal J pouch anastomosis, it is still unclear whether this translates into better quality of life. The aim of this trial was to investigate health‐related quality of life as a primary endpoint in patients undergoing sphincter‐saving rectal resection.

Method

Sixty‐four patients were randomized to either straight (n = 32) or coloanal J pouch (n = 32) anastomosis. Patients were studied before operation, at the time of stoma reversal and at 3‐month intervals for 1 year thereafter. Quality of life was measured using two generic (Gastrointestinal Quality of Life Index and European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) QLQ‐C30) and one disease‐specific (EORTC QLQ‐CR38) instruments. Functional results using a standardized score as well as manometric variables were recorded.

Results

Thirty‐nine patients (19 with a pouch and 20 with a straight anastomosis) completed the trial. There was a marked difference between the two groups with regard to quality of life profile. Patients with a pouch reconstruction had a significantly better quality of life, particularly in the early postoperative period.

Conclusion

Patients undergoing low anterior rectal resection and coloanal J pouch reconstruction may expect not only better functional results but also an improved quality of life in the early months after surgery compared with patients who receive a straight coloanal anastomosis. © 2002 British Journal of Surgery Society Ltd

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