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Abstract

Strictureplasty extends the surgical options for the treatment of obstructive Crohn's disease. Over 15 years, 52 patients had 241 strictureplasties at 76 operations with no operative mortality and with septic complications in only two patients (4 per cent). Median (range) follow-up was 49.5 (1–182) months. Nineteen patients (36 per cent) required a second operation for Crohn's disease between 1 and 57 months after first strictureplasty. Most symptomatic recurrence was caused by new segments of stricturing or perforating disease, and recurrence of Crohn's disease was noted at only nine strictureplasty sites (3·7 per cent) in four patients. Seven patients (13 per cent) required a third operation for Crohn's disease. Patients undergoing strictureplasty alone were no more likely to require reoperation than those who had a concomitant resection at the first procedure (X2 = 0·619, P > 0·2). The reoperation rates after first and second operations were similar (X2 = 0·021, P > 0·2). Minimal surgery does not appear to lead to an accelerated or additional need for subsequent operation. Strictureplasty provides a safe, effective and rapid procedure to restore patients to good health while preserving the intestine and may be recommended for carefully selected strictures as an adjunct to conventional excisional surgical treatment.