South African Journal of Surgery
versión On-line ISSN 2078-5151
versión impresa ISSN 0038-2361
OBJECTIVE: Little has been published regarding long-term surgical outcome after the initial management of acute sigmoid colon volvulus. METHODS: Patients undergoing primary resection and anastomosis (PRA) or Hartmann's procedure (HP) for sigmoid volvulus between September 1992 and August 2000 were reviewed. Eligible patients who had had the initial procedure at least 5 years previously were contacted and completed a questionnaire regarding recurrence, current symptoms and bowel habits. RESULTS: Data on 42 PRA patients and 36 HP patients were analysed. Follow-up (mean 7.2 years, range 5 - 11 years) was completed for 63 patients (37 PRA, 26 HP). Restoration of bowel continuity was successfully performed in 25 of 26 HP patients. No patient had megacolon. Constipation was reported by 83% of PRA and 65% of HP patients. Of these patients, 51% regularly used laxatives. No patient complained of incontinence, and no recurrences of sigmoid volvulus were recorded during the follow-up period. CONCLUSION: Sigmoidectomy with primary anastomosis is a good option for the definitive management of sigmoid volvulus. Despite the high constipation rate, no recurrence occurred during long-term follow-up.