Ileal Reservoir with Ileo-Anal Anastomosis: Long-term Complications

Coloproctectomy with ileo-anal anastomosis (CP-IAA) has been in use for 30 years. This intervention is the standard technique when surgery is indicated for familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) and for ulcerative colitis (UC). Although the surgery is safe with mortality of less than 1%, it is associated with a morbidity of 18-70%. We thought a literature review about long-term complications would be enlightening. Pouchitis is the most common complication; it occurs in 70% of patients over 20 years follow-up; small bowel obstruction affects 25% of patients and pelvic sepsis occurs in 20-30% within 10 years. CP-IAA can impact the patient’s sexual life due to erectile and ejaculatory dysfunction, dyspareunia, and incontinence of stool during sexual intercourse. Nevertheless, patients with long-standing UC describe an overall improvement in their sexual function after surgery. The failure rate varies from 3.5 to 15%; major causes of failure are sepsis, unrecognized Crohn’s disease, and poor functional results. Cases of dysplasia and cancer have been reported in the reservoir, but more particularly when there is retained colonic glandular mucosa. The transitional zone should be monitored whenever there are risk factors for colon neoplasia. The relatively high morbidity of CP-IAA should not overshadow the good functional results of this technique.