Objective. To compare the outcome after conventional sutured loop ileostomy closure with stapled ileostomy closure. Summary Background Data. A defunctioning loop ileostomy is now widely used in colorectal surgery. Subsequent closure may be associated with early complications, particularly bowel obstruction. The results of a preliminary nonrandomized study suggested that there was no significant difference in the rate of complications between sutured and stapled closure of loop ileostomy. Methods. One hundred forty-one consecutive patients who underwent loop ileostomy between 1993 and 1998 were randomized before surgery to either sutured or stapled loop ileostomy closure. Seventy-one patients had stapled closure and 70 had sutured closure. Results. Both groups were comparable in terms of age, sex, original operation, duration after original operation, and level of operating surgeon. Postoperative bowel obstruction occurred in 10/70 (14%) patients after sutured closure compared with 2/71 (3%) patients after stapled closure. Subgroup analysis of ileostomy closure in patients having an ileal pouch showed no significant difference in bowel obstruction between stapled and sutured closure (2/30 vs. 7/29). The incidence of other complications, readmissions, and reoperations did not differ between the two groups. The stapled closure was only 4 minutes quicker than sutured closure. The mean total hospital stay tended to be shorter after the stapled closure than the sutured closure, but this did not reach statistical significance. Conclusions. Bowel obstruction occurred less frequently after stapled closure, but the mean hospital stay and readmission and reoperation rate did not significantly differ between the two groups.
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