Among 971 patients with chronic ulcerative colitis who underwent ilealpouch anal anastomosis during an 8-year period from January, 1982 to December 1989, 30 patients were randomly selected from each year (total = 240 patients) for an assessment of their long-term functional results and quality of life as of 1990. Patients undergoing cholecystectomy during each of the same years served as "controls" (20 patients/year, total = 160 patients). All 400 patients completed a written questionnaire that measured bowel habits, overall quality of life, general health, and performance in sports/recreation, travel, sex life, family relationship, occupational work, social activities, and household activities. Ileo-anal patients had more frequent stools (median, 6 stools/day) and more fecal spotting (68% of patients had episodes) than cholecystectomy patients (median, 1 stool/day, 13% had episodes, p<0.05). In spite of the altered bowel habits, 90% of ileo-anal patients had an excellent overall quality of life, 76% enjoyed good health, and 91% had good performance scores in the areas examined. In fact, quality of life and performance were similar among ileo-anal patients and cholecystectomy patients. Moreover, quality of life and bowel habits remained steady in both groups of patients during the 8-year follow-up. In conclusion, functional results were satisfactory and quality of life was excellent after ileal pouch-anal anastomosis; neither deteriorated as patients aged over an 8-year period after operation.
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