A fourteen-year audit of surgery for inflammatory bowel disease at a tertiary colorectal unit
Background: In South Africa, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is increasing in frequency. The purpose of the study was to document our experience with the surgical management of patients with IBD and describe the cohort undergoing surgical management of IBD in a KwaZulu-Natal province tertiary state sector hospital.
Methods: Retrospective analysis of a database of patients undergoing surgery for IBD. Demographics, site and disease duration, surgical indications, management and outcome were analysed.
Results: Of 397 patients with IBD, 136 had Crohn’s disease (CD) (African 13, Indian 78, Coloured 10 and White 35) and 261 had ulcerative colitis (UC) (African 67, Indian 158, Coloured 9 and White 27). Eighty-six of 136 patients with CD required surgical referral. Ileo-colonic CD was most common and non-stricturing/non penetrating disease behaviour predominated. Seventy-four patients with CD underwent 76 abdominal surgical procedures with in-hospital mortality of 3.5% and a morbidity of 20.9%. Twenty patients required anorectal fistula procedures. Recurrence occurred in nine patients (10.5%) and malignant transformation was seen in three patients (2.2%). One hundred and sixty-three of the 261 patients with UC had pancolitis. Failed medical management was the most common indication for surgical referral. Fiftyone patients with UC had surgery, (age 44.5 [IQR 27–56] years). Forty-five patients underwent 63 abdominal surgical procedures with an overall mortality of 17.7% and a morbidity of 39.2%. Colorectal cancer was seen in 10 patients (3.8%). Laparoscopic procedures were undertaken in eight CD patients (10.8%) and 29 UC patients (39%). The median hospital stay was 7 days for both open and laparoscopic resection.
Conclusion: IBD is not uncommon in African patients, with UC being more frequent than CD. Postoperative mortality and potential for malignant transformation are higher for UC.
The South African Journal of Surgery (SAJS) reserves copyright of the material published. The work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial Works 4.0 South Africa License. Material submitted for publication in the SAJS is accepted provided it has not been published elsewhere. The SAJS does not hold itself responsible for statements made by the authors.