National variations in perioperative assessment and surgical management of Crohn’s disease: a multicentre study

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Aim: Crohn's disease (CD) requires a multidisciplinary approach and surgery should be undertaken by dedicated colorectal surgeons with audited outcomes. We present a national, multicentre study, with the aim to collect benchmark data on key performance indicators in CD surgery, to highlight areas where standards of CD surgery excel and to facilitate targeted quality improvement where indicated. Methods: All patients undergoing ileocaecal or redo ileocolic resection in the participating centres for primary and recurrent CD from June 2018 to May 2019 were included. The main objective was to collect national data on hospital volume and practice variations. Postoperative morbidity was the primary outcome. Laparoscopic surgery and stoma rate were the secondary outcomes. Results: In all, 715 patients were included: 457 primary CD and 258 recurrent CD with a postoperative morbidity of 21.6% and 34.7%, respectively. Laparoscopy was used in 83.8% of primary CD compared to 31% of recurrent CD. Twenty-five hospitals participated and the total number of patients per hospital ranged from 2 to 169. Hospitals performing more than 10 primary CD procedures per year showed a higher adoption of laparoscopy and bowel sparing surgery. Conclusions: There is significant heterogeneity in the number of CD surgeries performed per year nationally in Italy. Our data suggest that high-volume hospitals perform more complex procedures, with a higher adoption of bowel sparing surgery. The rate of laparoscopy in high-volume hospitals is higher for primary CD but not for recurrent CD compared with low-volume hospitals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)94-104
Number of pages11
JournalColorectal Disease
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021


  • colorectal surgery
  • Crohn's disease
  • ileocaecal resection
  • inflammatory bowel disease
  • national audit


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