The predilection site of non-occlusive mesenteric ischemia is the right-sided colon. Surgical exploration followed by segmental bowel resection and primary anastomosis or ileostomy is recommended, if vascular interventions are not feasible and conservative treatment fails. We assessed the outcome of patients in this life-threatening condition.
From a prospective database 58 patients with urgent surgery for acute right-sided colonic ischemia without feasible vascular intervention (as a surrogate for non-occlusive mesenteric ischemia) were identified. Retrospectively the patients’ characteristics, reason for ischemia, extent of resection, rate of ileostomy creation, 30 day and one year mortality, and rate of ileostomy-reversal at one year postoperative were assessed.
Radiologically mesenteric arteriosclerotic disease was present in 54% of the patients. Vaso-occlusive mesenteric disease was suspected in 15% of the patients, but not confirmed intra-operatively. Ten patients underwent (extended) right-sided hemicolectomy with primary anastomosis (30-days mortality 20%, 1-year mortality 30%). Sixteen patients had (extended) right-sided hemicolectomy with creation of an ileostomy (30-days mortality 44%, 1-year mortality 86%, ostomy reversal in one patient). Twenty-five patients had (sub-) total colectomy with ileostomy creation (30-days mortality 60%, 1-year mortality 72%, ostomy reversal in two patients). Seven patients had exploration only (30-days mortality 86%, 1-year mortality 86%). Overall, the 30-days mortality-rate was 52% and the 1-year mortality-rate was 70%. Only 7% of the patients requiring an ostomy experienced ostomy-reversal.
Patients with urgent surgery for acute right-sided colonic ischemia without feasible vascular intervention have a very high short and long-term mortality. The rate of ostomy-reversal is very low.