Dr Stephen Roberts and colleagues from England compared mortality outcomes in the 3 years after elective colectomy, emergency colectomy, and emergency colectomy.
The research team evaluated people admitted to hospital for inflammatory bowel disease between 1968 to 2003.
The researchers investigated whether the threshold for elective colectomy in clinical practice is appropriate.
| Mortality after elective colectomy was 3% for Crohn's disease|
|British Medical Journal|
The team evaluated 23,464 people with hospital stay for more than 3 days for inflammatory bowel disease, including 5,480 who had colectomy.
The team assessed case fatality, relative survival, and standardized mortality ratios.
The research team found that for England, mortality 3 years after elective colectomy for ulcerative colitis was 4%, and 14% without colectomy.
Mortality after elective colectomy was 3% for Crohn's disease, and was significantly lower than without colectomy.
The researchers noted that mortality in those with Crohn's disease was 10% without colectomy.
The team observed that mortality with emergency colectomy was 13% in ulcerative colitis, and 10% for Crohn's disease.
The team found 3 or more months after elective colectomy, mortality was similar to that in the general population.
Adjustment for comorbidity did not affect the findings.
Dr Roberts' team concluded, "In England, the clinical threshold for elective colectomy in people with inflammatory bowel disease may be too high."
"Further research is now required to establish the threshold criteria, and optimal timing of elective surgery for people with poorly controlled inflammatory bowel disease."