Distal small bowel obstruction following ileal pouch-anal anastomosis (IPAA) can occur secondary to acute angulation or prolapse of the afferent limb at the pouch inlet, namely, afferent limb syndrome (ALS). The aim of this study is to report our experience in diagnosis and management of ALS in patients with IPAA.
All patients with ALS after IPAA were identified from prospectively maintained databases. Demographic, clinical, endoscopic, and radiographic features together with its management and outcome were studied.
Eighteen patients (12 female) were included. The mean age was 35.6 ± 14.3 years. Most patients presented with intermittent obstructive symptoms. Fifteen patients were diagnosed by pouch endoscopy with features of angulation of the pouch inlet and difficulty in intubating the afferent limb; 12 patients had kinking or narrowing of the pouch inlet identified with abdominal imaging. The median follow-up was 1.3 (range, 0.14–16.1) years. Nine patients underwent empiric balloon dilatation of the afferent limb/pouch inlet. Of nine, four needed repeat dilatations. One patient with repeat dilatation ultimately had pouch excision; another has been scheduled for surgery after failed repeat dilatations. Eight patients underwent surgery, resection of angulated bowel (n = 3), pouchopexy (n = 2), pouch mobilization with small bowel fixation (n = 1), and pouch excision (n = 2). One patient without symptoms did not receive any therapy despite the finding of ALS on pouchoscopy.
ALS was characterized by clinical presentation of partial small bowel obstruction, which can be diagnosed by careful pouchoscopy and/or abdominal imaging. Endoscopic or surgical intervention is often needed and surgical therapy appears to be more definitive. (Inflamm Bowel Dis 2011;)