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BACKGROUND: Strictureplasty is an effective means of alleviating obstructive Crohn's disease while conserving bowel length. The aim of this study was to establish long-term outcomes of strictureplasty. METHODS: Between 1978 and 2003, 479 strictureplasties were performed in 100 patients during 159 operations. Information on Crohn's disease, medical therapy, laboratory indices, surgical details, complication rates and outcomes was recorded. The primary endpoint was abdominal reoperation. RESULTS: Mean follow-up was 85.1 (range 0.2-240.9) months. The overall morbidity rate was 22.6 per cent, with septic complications in 11.3 per cent, obstruction in 4.4 per cent and gastrointestinal haemorrhage in 3.8 per cent. The 30-day mortality rate was 0.6 per cent and the procedure-related series mortality rate 3.0 per cent. Perioperative parenteral nutrition was the only marker for morbidity (P < 0.001). Reoperation rates were 52 per cent at a mean of 40.2 (range 0.2-205.8) months after a first, 56 per cent at 26.1 (range 3.5-63.5) months after a second, 86 per cent at 27.4 (range 1.4-74.5) months after a third, and 62.5 per cent at 25.9 (range 7.3-70.5) months following a fourth strictureplasty procedure. The major risk factor for reoperation was young age (P < 0.001). CONCLUSION: Long-term follow-up has confirmed the safety of strictureplasty in Crohn's disease. Morbidity is appreciable, although the surgical mortality rate is low. Reoperation rates are comparable following first and repeat strictureplasty procedures.

Original publication




Journal article


Br J Surg

Publication Date





475 - 482


Adolescent, Adult, Aged, Crohn Disease, Female, Follow-Up Studies, Humans, Ileal Diseases, Intestinal Obstruction, Male, Middle Aged, Postoperative Complications, Reoperation, Retrospective Studies, Risk Factors, Suture Techniques