Ileostomy for constipation: Long-term postoperative outcome

Marco Scarpa, M. Barollo, M. R B Keighley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background and aims: Idiopathic constipation is a rare indication for ileostomy construction. The aim of the study was to evaluate the success of ileostomy in treatment of severe constipation. Also to analyse the surgical complications and re-operation rate to identify any factors potentially predictive of outcome. Patients and methods: This retrospective study analysed the long-term outcome of 24 ileostomies constructed for constipation. The ileostomy construction was performed in 13 patients during large bowel/rectum resection, in 6 after a full laparotomy and in 5 through an abdominal wall trephine alone. We analysed the surgical complications and the re-operation rate according any factors potentially predictive of outcome. Results: One (4%) patient had persistent constipation after stoma creation. Surgical complications occurred in 11 (46%): retraction in 6 (25.0%), peristomal sepsis in 3 (12.5%) and parastomal hernia in 2 (8.1%). Refashioning of the stoma was necessary in 7 (29%) patients. Previous abdominal surgery, end ileostomy, ileostomy constructed after large bowel resection or laparotomy were associated with a significantly higher incidence of stomal complications while age, duration of follow up, major complication and ileostomy created after bowel resection were associated to a significantly higher re-operation rate (P <0.05). Multivariate analysis identified end ileostomy and ileostomy created after bowel resection as independent risk factors for surgical complication and re-operation, respectively (P <0.05). Conclusions: Ileostomies were associated with a high frequency of complications, but most could be managed by minor surgical interventions. Patients who are considered for an ileostomy for severe idiopathic constipation should, where possible, have a loop ileostomy through a trephine rather than a laparotomy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)224-227
Number of pages4
JournalColorectal Disease
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 2005


  • End ileostomy
  • Loop ileostomy
  • Slow transit constipation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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