Acquired Microcolon after 20 Years of Colostomy: Can it be Saved?

Acquired Microcolon after 20 Years of Colostomy: Can it be Saved?

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Corresponding Author
Liesbeth van Bergen
Department of Abdominal, Pediatric and Reconstructive Surgery, Antwerp University Hospital, Edegem, Belgium


Objectives: To report a case of a stoma reversal in a patient with an acquired, extreme microcolon after a long-standing transversostomy and to give a review of the current literature. Methods: Case report and literature review by performing a PubMed database search, using the keywords Santulli enterostomy, anal atresia, posterior sagittal anorectoplasty and acquired microcolon. Results: An 18-year-old patient with a previous history of anal, rectal and sigmoid atresia, was admitted to our hospital with an acquired microcolon due to a long-standing transversostomy. The patient had a posterior sagittal anorectoplasty at the age of one year, but by reason of an enormous dilatation of the ascending colon and the associated discrepancy of the caliber of the proximal and distal colon, the colostomy was maintained. The patient was lost in follow-up during several years. Now, 16 years later, the patient requested closure of the colostomy. Since barium enemas still showed a dilated colon ascendens and a microcolon descendens, a staged approach was chosen. First, a right hemicolectomy was performed and a Santulli enterostomy was created by constructing an ileocolostomy just proximal of an end ileostomy. Progressively, more transanal bowel movements were seen and barium enemas showed a progressive expansion of the remaining colon and rectum. Test closing of the enterostomy using an inflated bladder catheter did not cause signs of obstruction. During the second stage, 17 months later, at the age of 20 years, the stoma was closed. Now, the patient has two to three solid stools a day, with a complete fecal continence. Discussion: The used technique is well known in pediatric surgery. We successfully implemented it in the treatment of a microcolon in an adult. The advantage is that we can feed the distal colon to achieve expansion, while the enterostomy functions as a venting system, hereby preventing obstructive complaints when the caliber of the colon is still narrow. In conclusion, long-standing colostomas with a concurrent microcolon can be closed but require a step-by-step approach.

Article Info

Article Type
Case Report
Publication history
Received: Mon 08, Feb 2021
Accepted: Tue 17, Aug 2021
Published: Mon 30, Aug 2021
© 2021 Liesbeth van Bergen. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Hosting by Science Repository. All rights reserved.
DOI: 10.31487/j.SCR.2021.08.11