Background

Surgery in Crohn’s disease (CD) may be associated with poor prognosis and clinical and surgical recurrence. The aim of this study was to describe and compare the post-operative management and outcomes of patients with CD who underwent first vs recurrent surgeries.

Methods

Observational study that included adult CD patients from 26 Spanish hospitals who underwent ileocolonic resection with ileocolonic anastomosis between January 2007 and December 2010. Data were retrospectively collected from the medical records.

Results

Data from 314 patients were analysed, of whom 262 (83%) underwent first surgery and 52 (17%) referred to previous CD surgeries. Baseline characteristics were similar between the two groups except for a higher rate of stricturing behavior at diagnosis among re-operated patients (P = 0.03). After surgery, a higher proportion of re-operated patients received prophylactic treatment with immunomodulators compared with patients with first surgery (P = 0.04). In re-operated patients, time to clinical recurrence was not associated with the fact of receiving or not prophylaxis, whereas, in patients with first surgery, recurrence-free survival was greater when prophylaxis was received (P = 0.03).

Conclusions

After surgery, a higher proportion of patients with previous surgeries received prophylactic treatment with immunomodulators compared with patients with first surgery. Although prophylactic treatment was beneficial for preventing clinical recurrence in patients operated on for the first time, it did not significantly reduce the risk of further recurrence in patients with previous surgeries. This suggests that effective prophylactic therapies are still needed in this subset of patients.

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