Functional outcome after restorative panproctocolectomy for ulcerative colitis decreases an otherwise enhanced quality of life


  • Presented to the British Society of Gastroenterology, Glasgow, UK, March 1999, and published in abstract form as Gut 1999; 44(Suppl 1): A414



Restorative panproctocolectomy is a favoured operation for ulcerative colitis, but altered bowel habit may adversely affect overall quality of life.


Specific and generic quality of life questionnaires and an instrument to award money for continuing disability based on government guidelines were sent to 103 patients who had curative surgery for ulcerative colitis between 1995 and 1997. Seventy-one patients returned completed questionnaires: 30 with an ileostomy (representing incontinence and abnormal body image), 11 with a Koch pouch (representing continence and abnormal body image) and 30 with a pelvic pouch (representing continence and normal body image).


Patients valued the disability of having an ileostomy similar to that for a Koch pouch or a pelvic pouch: £40 000, £30 000 and £40 000 respectively (P = 0·97). There was no sex difference. Body image measured with a visual analogue scale (least = 1, worst = 10) was worst with the ileostomy and Koch pouch (8 each) and best with a pelvic pouch (5) (P = 0·06). However, pelvic pouches scored significantly worse than an ileostomy with regard to altered bowel emptying (pelvic pouch, 8; Koch pouch, 7; ileostomy, 5) (P = 0·01).


Poor function after pelvic pouch surgery offsets any advantage in body image over an ileostomy. Thus, overall quality of life and perceived monetary damage were the same for the two operations. Improved pelvic pouch function is likely to be reflected in better quality of life after restorative panproctocolectomy. © 2000 British Journal of Surgery Society Ltd