• Indications for surgery, operative procedures, and the early and late sequelae of surgery for Crohn's ileocolitis have been studied in a series of 250 patients admitted to Mount Sinai Hospital, New York, between 1960 and 1975. The most common indications for surgery were small-bowel obstruction in ileocolitis, and medical intractability in Crohn's colitis. Early postoperative complications (within 30 days of surgery) followed 79 operative procedures (15%), and were most commonly wound infections (7%), intra-abdominal abscess (2.6%), and postoperative intestinal obstruction (2.4%). Late sequelae (30 days to 15 years following surgery) included intestinal obstruction in 36 patients, external fistulae in 41 patients, and ileostomy problems in 19 patients, and were most frequently caused by recurrent disease in the terminal portion of the ileum. Mortality following surgery for Crohn's disease may be subdivided into two groups, early and late. All eight early postoperative deaths were secondary to sepsis, present in every instance prior to operation. The eight late deaths were caused by metastatic cancer in six and recurrent disease in two. Resection of excluded segments of bowel, as in four of the patients in this series, will reduce the late cancer risk.
(Arch Surg 1981;116:285-288)