Threshold 'high' in IBD surgery

The clinical threshold for undertaking elective surgery to remove part or all of the colon of patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) may be too high, warn UK researchers.

Researchers collected data from hospitals in England to investigate mortality after colectomy for IBD, comparing those who underwent elective colectomy, emergency colectomy, or who were hospitalised for IBD but had no colectomy. The study included 23,464 people who were hospitalised for more than three days for IBD and 5,480 who underwent colectomy.

Three-year follow-up showed a similar risk of death in those who underwent emergency colectomy and those who had no colectomy.

In contrast, survival in patients who underwent elective colectomy was similar to that in the general population. The threshold for elective colectomy for IBD must be lowered, say the researchers.

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