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Tan WS, Lim JF, Tang CL, Eu KW
Correspondence: Dr Jit Fong Lim, email@example.com
Introduction With improvements in surgical techniques, instrumentation and perioperative care, Hartmann’s procedure is now less frequently performed. Restoration of intestinal continuity after Hartmann’s procedure has traditionally been viewed to be technically demanding and associated with significant morbidity and mortality. This is a study of outcomes after the reversal of Hartmann’s procedure in an Asian population.
Methods A prospectively collected database showed that 255 patients had undergone Hartmann’s procedure from October 1989 to October 2005. Patients who subsequently underwent Hartmann’s reversal were identified and their records reviewed retrospectively.
Results Hartmann’s reversal was attempted in 49 patients. The most common indication for Hartmann’s procedure was colorectal carcinoma (49.0%). The median interval between resection and reversal was 23 weeks. Reversal was successful in 46 (93.9%) patients, with 79.6% experiencing no intraoperative complications. Failure of reversal was significantly associated with prior radiotherapy to the pelvis (p-value = 0.007). Anastomotic leak rates and re-bleeding rates were both 0.0%. 79.6% of patients made an uneventful recovery with no postoperative complications. There was no significant increase in the complication rate in older patients or patients with higher American Society of Anesthesiologists status. The overall incidence of 30-day morbidity and mortality was 20.4% and 0.0%, respectively.
Conclusion In our population, Hartmann’s procedure is more commonly performed for colorectal cancer rather than for diverticular disease, resulting in lower rates of stoma reversal. Hartmann’s reversal could be performed with acceptable morbidity and minimal mortality, although prior radiotherapy and shorter rectal stump may pose challenges during reversal surgery.
Keywords: Asia, Hartmann’s procedure, stoma closure, stoma reversal
Singapore Med J 2012; 53(1): 46–51