CLOSE-IT: CLOSurE of Ileostomy Timing. An audit of the variation in timing of ileostomy closure after anterior resection for rectal cancer
Mrs Julie Cornish, Cwm Taf UHB
Start date: April 2018
Duration: 12 months
Funded amount: £20,000
Read about Julie’s earlier iGrant project on rectal irrigation here and iGrant project on Physiotherapy and Anterior Resection Syndrome here
Many patients having surgery for rectal cancer have a temporary stoma made (an ‘ileostomy’ where the bowel is brought to the skin) to protect the new join in the bowel. The ileostomy can be 'closed', in other words rejoined, with another operation once the original join has healed. The time before the ileostomy closure varies widely across the UK (6 weeks to over 18 months) but we don't know why. We do know that long delays to closing the ileostomy can result in worse bowel function afterwards, including problems with incontinence of stool, going to the toilet very often and needing to rush to the toilet. This can really affect a patient's quality of life so we want to investigate why these delays are happening and how to prevent them.
We will study patients having their ileostomy closed across the UK and look at the time from their first operation until the ileostomy closure. We will also look back at all patients who were given a temporary ileostomy in 2015 or 2016 to see how many have now had the ileostomy closed and how long they waited.
We hope to identify what causes delays in ileostomy closure. We will produce new guidelines and think of ways to reduce delays. By introducing these guidelines and presenting our ideas, we hope to reduce these distressing bowel symptoms and improve the quality of life for the hundreds of patients who need a temporary ileostomy, leaving them to get on with their lives.