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PURPOSE: Open ileal pouch surgery leads to high rates of adhesive small-bowel obstruction (SBO). A laparoscopic approach may reduce these complications. We aimed to review the incidence of adhesive SBO-related complications after open pouch surgery and to model the potential financial impact of a laparoscopic approach purely as an adhesion prevention strategy. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We reviewed cases of open ileal pouch patients kept on a database and examined annually. Case notes were studied for episodes of adhesive SBO requiring admission or reoperation. Similar parameters were studied in a small series undergoing laparoscopic pouch surgery. The financial burden of the open access complications was estimated and potential financial impact of a laparoscopic approach modeled. RESULTS: Two hundred seventy-six patients were followed up after open surgery (median, 6.3; range, 0.2-20.1 years). There were 76 (28%) readmissions (median length of stay, 7.4 days) in 53 patients (19%) and 28 (10%) reoperations (43% within 1 year). Laparoscopic patients required less adhesiolysis at second-stage surgery (0% vs 36%, p < 0.0001) and had less SBO episodes within 12 months of surgery (0% vs 14%, p < 0.0001) than open patients. Modeling a laparoscopic approach cost $1,450 and saved $3,282, thus netting $1,832 per pouch constructed. CONCLUSION: Open ileal pouch surgery results in significant cumulative long-term access-related complications, particularly adhesions. These impose a large medical burden on patients and financial burden on health-care systems, all of which may be recouped by a laparoscopic approach, despite higher theater costs.

Original publication




Journal article


J Gastrointest Surg

Publication Date





1239 - 1245


Adult, Colonic Diseases, Colonic Pouches, Cost-Benefit Analysis, Female, Follow-Up Studies, Humans, Ileal Diseases, Incidence, Intestinal Obstruction, Laparoscopy, Male, Postoperative Complications, Prognosis, Prospective Studies, Tissue Adhesions, United Kingdom