Background: The aim of this study was to assess the feasibility of laparoscopic surgery for recurrent Crohn's disease, and the role of repeated laparoscopy in reoperation. Methods: Between January 1994 and May 2002, 61 laparoscopic operations were attempted in 52 patients with ileal or ileocolonic Crohn's disease. Of these, 16 procedures were performed for recurrence at the anastomotic site (recurrent group). The remaining 45 operations were performed as primary procedures (control group). The median follow-up was 48 (range 3-90) months. Results: The median time to reoperation was 46 months. The incidence of enteric fistula and the conversion rate did not differ significantly between the two groups. Although the operating time was significantly longer in the recurrent group, there were no differences in the rate of postoperative complications (three in the recurrent group and six in the control group) and hospital stay (both median 8 days). Conclusion: Laparoscopic surgery for recurrent Crohn's disease is feasible in selected patients without an increase in conversion rate or postoperative complications.
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