Can a new surgical technique improve quality of life after ileal pouch surgery?



This technique is the most recent development in pouch surgery and will be thoroughly investigated to give as many people as possible the best outcome after surgery.

Professor Omar Faiz
St Mark's Hospital and Academic Institute

What is this research looking at? 

Ulcerative Colitis can be treated with surgery to remove the large bowel. People who have their large bowel removed need to choose whether to have a permanent stoma or an ileal pouch.

  • Stoma: A stoma is created when the intestine is brought to the surface of the tummy (abdomen) and an opening is made to allow faeces (digestive waste) to drain into a bag, rather than through the anus.
  • Ileal pouch: An ileal pouch is created by folding the end of the remaining small bowel onto itself to form a pouch that is joined to the anus. This allows passing of faeces in the normal way through the anus.

15% of people with an ileal pouch suffer from complications after the surgery and need further surgery to create a permanent stoma. The most common reason for this is ongoing inflammation around the pouch caused by infections. This is often the result of a leak in the join between the pouch and the anus.

This study will investigate whether a new surgical technique used to make the join during ileal pouch surgery results in less leakage and fewer infections, and therefore a better quality of life for people with Ulcerative Colitis.

What do researchers think this could mean for people with Colitis? 

The aim of pouch surgery is to improve the quality of life for people with Ulcerative Colitis. If the join in the pouch leaks, which may come months or years after surgery, the ongoing infections and the need for more operations (and eventually a permanent stoma) have very significant and negative impacts on quality of life.

If this study is successful it could lead to the new surgical technique being accepted into clinical practice. This would guarantee, as far as possible, a positive outcome for people with Ulcerative Colitis who choose to not to have a permanent stoma after removal of their bowel.

Who is leading this research: Professor Omar Faiz, St Mark’s Hospital and Academic Institute
Our funding: £18,150
Duration:  36 months
Official title of application: CIRCILS – A comparison of anastomotic interventions in a prospective cohort of ileal pouch surgical patients.