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Invited Critique
Oct 2011

Diverting Ileostomies: Comment on “Loop Ileostomy Reversal After Colon and Rectal Surgery: A Single Institutional 5-Year Experience in 944 Patients”

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: California Oncology Research Institute and David Geffen School of Medicine, UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles) (Dr Bilchik); and Department of Surgery, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut (Dr Faries).

Arch Surg. 2011;146(10):1196-1197. doi:10.1001/archsurg.2011.229

Every surgeon has faced the intraoperative dilemma of whether to divert. In some cases, the decision appears obvious: an ultralow anastomosis, questionable tension, heavy pretreatment with corticosteroids or chemotherapy, or nutritional compromise.

However, most of the time it is a “judgment call” with real, but not overwhelming, risk at the anastomosis. Such judgment is often heavily influenced by a surgeon's recent experience (eg, the anastomosis that looked perfect, was tension free and well vascularized, and had no air leak on insufflation testing but leaked anyway). This type of experience might lead us to use the “safe” option of ileostomy more often.

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