Effectiveness of the Ileostomy Pathway in Reducing Readmissions for Dehydration: Does It Stand the Test of Time?

Yu Ting Van Loon*, Vitaliy Y. Poylin, Deborah Nagle, David D.E. Zimmerman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: The ileostomy pathway, introduced in 2011, has proved to be successful in eliminating hospital readmissions for high-output ileostomy or dehydration in the following period of 7 months in a single institution. However, it is unclear whether this short-term success, immediately after the initiation of the program, can be sustainable in the long term. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to assess the efficacy and the durability of the ileostomy pathway in reducing readmissions for dehydration over a longer period of time. DESIGN: This was a retrospective review of the patients who entered into the ileostomy pathway, since its introduction on March 1, 2011, until January 31, 2015. SETTINGS: This study was conducted at a tertiary academic center. PATIENTS: Patients undergoing colorectal surgery with the creation of a new end or loop ileostomy were included. INTERVENTION: The long-term sustainability of the ileostomy pathway was assessed. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: The primary end point was readmission within 30 days after discharge for a high-output ileostomy or dehydration. RESULTS: A total of 393 patients (male n = 195, female n = 198, median age 52 (18-87) years) were included: 161 prepathway and 232 on-pathway. Overall 30-day postdischarge readmission rates decreased from 35.4% to 25.9% (p = 0.04). Readmissions due to high output and/or dehydration dropped from 15.5% to 3.9% (p < 0.001). Readmissions due to small-bowel obstructions dropped from 9.9% to 4.3%, (p = 0.03). LIMITATIONS: The possible limitations of the study included a nonrandomized comparison of the patient groups and those patients who were possibly admitted to different institutions. CONCLUSIONS: The present ileostomy pathway decreases readmissions for high-output ileostomy and dehydration in patients with new ileostomies and is durable in the long term. See Video Abstract at http://links.lww.com/DCR/B233.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1151-1155
Number of pages5
JournalDiseases of the colon and rectum
StateAccepted/In press - 2020


  • Dehydration
  • Enterostomy
  • Ileostomy
  • Readmission

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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