NYMC Faculty Publications

Does an Ileostomy Rod Prevent Stoma Retraction? A Meta-analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials

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Wound Management and Prevention

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A rod passed through the mesenteric window is commonly used during maturation of ileostomies, but evidence for the effectiveness of this procedure is limited.

PURPOSE: The aim of this meta-analysis was to determine whether ileostomy rods decrease stoma retraction rates in patients undergoing loop ileostomy (LI).

METHODS: The PubMed, EMBASE, Cochrane Library, MEDLINE via Ovid, Cumulative Index of Nursing and Allied Health Literature, and Web of Science databases were systematically searched for randomized controlled trials (RCT) published in English from 1990 to the present date using the MeSH terms ostomy, rod, and bridge to compare ileostomies with a rod to those without a rod. Study information, patient demographics, characteristics, and stoma retraction rates were abstracted. The primary endpoint, stoma retraction, was defined as the disappearance of normal stomal protrusion to at, or below, skin level. The Mantel-Haenszel method of meta-analysis with odds ratio and 95% confidence interval (OR [95% CI]) was used. Among-study statistical heterogeneity was assessed using Cochrane chi-squared and I² tests. Tau² analysis to assess between-study variance was employed when I² was greater than 50%. The number needed to treat/harm (NNT) was calculated to assess clinical relevance of any statistical difference. Visual assessment of funnel plots and Egger's test were used to assess for publication bias.

RESULTS: Of the 228 publications identified, 3 RCTs totaling 392 patients (194 LI with rod and 198 LI without rod) met the inclusion criteria for analysis. Overall bias risk was low. The stoma retraction rate was 3.1% (6/194) in patients with a rod versus 4.5% (9/198) in patients with LI without a rod at a mean follow-up of 3 months. This difference was not statistically or clinically significant (OR [95% CI] = 0.60 (0.21-1.72); P = .34; NNT = 69), with low statistical heterogeneity noted among the studies (I² = 0%).

CONCLUSION: This meta-analysis found that ileostomy rods do not decrease stoma retraction rates at 3-month follow-up. Studies examining the rate of all potential complications in patients who do and do not receive rod placement following IL are needed to help surgeons make evidence-based decisions.

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