The Pediatric Pouch in Inflammatory Bowel Disease

A Primer for the Gastroenterologist

Ghassan T Wahbeh; David L Suskind; Scott D Lee; John T Waldhausen; Karen F Murray


Expert Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2013;7(3):215-223. 

In This Article


Pediatric severe ulcerative colitis that is resistant to current medical treatment can successfully be managed surgically with a colectomy, ileal pouch creation and pouch–anal anastomosis. Key issues that should be considered and discussed before the pouch option can be offered include alternative surgical procedures, pouch function expectations, risk of surgical leak, pelvic sepsis, anastomotic strictures, acute and chronic pouch inflammation, Crohn's disease of the pouch and risk of reduced fertility for females. A long-term risk is malignancy of the residual colonic tissue. The decision to proceed with a pouch or not poses a substantial emotional burden to the child and family. Despite the risk of surgical complications and pouch inflammatory and functional challenges, the overwhelming majority of children and their families are satisfied with their pouch surgery outcomes. Further study is needed to assess preoperative risk predictors, prevention and treatment of complications.