Strictureplasty for obstructive Crohn's disease of the small bowel continues to gain favor throughout the world. Although the potential advantages of preserving intestinal length are obvious, the optimal clinical setting for performing strictureplasty remains to be determined. Of 244 patients who underwent abdominal exploration for complications of Crohn's disease between Jan. 1, 1985, and Jan. 1, 1991, at the Mayo Clinic, 35 had a total of 71 strictureplasties. Concomitant resection of bowel with active disease was performed in 67% of the procedures. In this series, no perioperative deaths occurred, and no anastomotic leaks, enteric fistulas, or intra-abdominal abscesses were noted during a 3-year follow-up. The overall perioperative complication rate was 14%. Postoperatively, 33 of the 35 patients were able to resume enteral nutrition and discontinue medical treatments. The symptomatic recurrence rate at 3 years was 20%; six patients have required reoperation. These findings support the use of strictureplasty for isolated, quiescent, stenotic bowel lesions associated with Crohn's disease.
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