Purpose: Compared to the stapling technique, the fold-over technique (FO) has the benefit of avoiding the sacrifice of the bowel segment. The aim of this study was to compare short-term outcomes between the FO and a conventional resection. Methods: Between June 2008 and March 2012, a total of 242 patients who underwent a diverting ileostomy reversal after rectal cancer surgery were selected. Among them, 29 patients underwent the FO. Using propensity scores to adjust for body mass index, previous abdominal surgery history, rectal cancer surgery type (open vs. minimally invasive), and reason for ileostomy (protective aim vs. leakage management), we created a well-balanced cohort by matching each patient who underwent the FO, as the study group, with two patients who underwent a stapled or a hand-sewn technique with bowel resection (RE), as the control group (FO : RE = 1 : 2). Morbidity and perioperative recovery were compared between the two groups. Results: Twenty-four and forty-eight patients were allocated to the FO and the RE groups, respectively. The mean operation time was 91 ± 26 minutes in the FO group and 97 ± 34 minutes in the RE group (P = 0.494). The overall morbidity rates were not different between the two groups (12.5% in FO vs. 14.6% in RE, P = 1.000). The rate of postoperative ileus was similar between the two groups (8.3% in FO vs. 12.5% in RE, P = 0.710). Although time to resumption of soft diet was shorter in the FO group than in the RE group, the lengths of hospital stay were not different. Conclusion: The FO and the conventional resection have similar short-term clinical outcomes for diverting ileostomy reversal.
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