Laeknabladid 2016 Nov;102(11):482-489
Introduction: A significant proportion of patients with ulcerative colitis (UC) undergo colectomy. The aim was to assess the quality of life (QOL) of these patients.
Material And Methods: All patients with UC who underwent colectomy at The National University Hospital of Iceland or Akureyri Hospital 1995-2009 were included. 106 patients received three questionnaires. SF-36v2 and EORTC are standardised QOL-questionnaires. The third contained functional questions designed by the researchers.
Results: Eighty-three patients replied (78%), 45 men (54%) and 38 women (46%). Average age at operation was 45 years (10-91 years). Forty-four (53%) had ileostomy, 28 (34%) ileal pouch-anal anastomosis (IPAA) and 11 (13%) ileorectal anastomosis. Among patients who had the rectum removed 37% described changes in urinary habits and 46% in sexual life after surgery. Among patients with IPAA 75% admitted to faecal incontinence but this was mild according to Wexner's scale in 83% of the cases. According to SF-36v2 there was no significant difference in the QOL of colectomy patients compared to the general population. Patients generally felt good about their health, body image and weight and had mild symptoms according to EORTC QLQ-CR29.
Conclusions: Urinary habits and sexual life were commonly affected after rectal removal. Faecal incontinence among IPAA-patients was much more common than expected. There was not much difference in quality of life compared to the general population. The results of the study are important for patient education and may aid them in their decision making since removing the colon or having a stoma does not seem to affect quality of life. Key words: Quality of life, ulcerative colitis, ileostomy, colectomy. Correspondence: Elsa B. Valsdottir, email@example.com.