Background and Aims: Recent epidemiological studies showed an increase in ulcerative colitis among children, especially in its aggressive form, requiring surgical treatment. Although medical therapeutic strategies are standardized, there is still no consensus regarding indications, timing and kind of surgery. This study aimed to define the surgical management of paediatric ulcerative colitis and describe attitudes to it among paediatric surgeons. Methods: This was a retrospective cohort study. All national gastroenterology units were invited to participate. From January 2009 to December 2013, data on paediatric patients diagnosed with ulcerative colitis that required surgery were collected. Results: Seven units participated in the study. Seventy-one colectomies were performed (77.3% laparoscopically). Main surgical indications were a severe ulcerative colitis attack (33.8%) and no response to medical therapies (56.3%). A three-stage strategy was chosen in 71% of cases. Straight anastomosis was performed in 14% and J-pouch anastomosis in 86% of cases. A reconstructive laparoscopic approach was used in 58% of patients. Ileo-anal anastomosis was performed by the Knight-Griffen technique in 85.4% and by the pull-through technique in 9.1% of patients. Complications after colectomy, after reconstruction and after stoma closure were reported in 12.7, 19.3 and 35% of cases, respectively. Conclusions: This study shows that there is general consensus regarding indications for surgery. The ideal surgical technique remains under debate. Laparoscopy is a procedure widely adopted for colectomy but its use in reconstructive surgery remains limited. Longer follow-up must be planned to define the quality of life of these patients.
- Paediatric ulcerative colitis
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