A comparison of hand-sewn versus stapled ileal pouch anal anastomosis (IPAA) following proctocolectomy: A meta-analysis of 4183 patients

Richard E. Lovegrove, Vasilis A. Constantinides, Alexander G. Heriot, Thanos Athanasiou, Ara Darzi, Feza H. Remzi, R. John Nicholls, Victor W. Fazio, Paris P. Tekkis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

233 Citations (Scopus)


OBJECTIVE: Using meta-analytical techniques, the study compared postoperative adverse events and functional outcomes of stapled versus hand-sewn ileal pouch-anal anastomosis (IPAA) following restorative proctocolectomy. BACKGROUND: The choice of mucosectomy and hand-sewn versus stapled pouch-anal anastomosis has been a subject of debate with no clear consensus as to which method provides better functional results and long-term outcomes. METHODS: Comparative studies published between 1988 and 2003, of hand-sewn versus stapled IPAA were included. Endpoints were classified into postoperative complications and functional and physiologic outcomes measured at least 3 months following closure of ileostomy or surgery if no proximal diversion was used, quality of life following surgery, and neoplastic transformation within the anal transition zone. RESULTS: Twenty-one studies, consisting of 4183 patients (2699 hand-sewn and 1484 stapled IPAA) were included. There was no significant difference in the incidence of postoperative complications between the 2 groups. The incidence of nocturnal seepage and pad usage favored the stapled IPAA (odds ratio [OR] = 2.78, P < 0.001 and OR = 4.12, P = 0.007, respectively). The frequency of defecation was not significantly different between the 2 groups (P = 0.562), nor was the use of antidiarrheal medication (OR = 1.27, P = 0.422). Anorectal physiologic measurements demonstrated a significant reduction in the resting and squeeze pressure in the hand-sewn IPAA group by 13.4 and 14.4 mm Hg, respectively (P < 0.018). The stapled IPAA group showed a higher incidence of dysplasia in the anal transition zone that did not reach statistical significance (OR = 0.42, P = 0.080). CONCLUSIONS: Both techniques had similar early postoperative outcomes; however, stapled IPAA offered improved nocturnal continence, which was reflected in higher anorectal physiologic measurements. A risk of increased incidence of dysplasia in the ATZ may exist in the stapled group that cannot be quantified by this study. We describe a decision algorithm for the choice of IPAA, based on the relative risk of long-term neoplastic transformation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18-26
Number of pages9
JournalAnnals of Surgery
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2006


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