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Morbidity related to the use of a protective stoma in anterior resection for rectal cancer

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Abstract Objective 

To evaluate morbidity related to the use of a protective stoma in rectal resection for cancer. Method 

Seventy-two patients undergoing anterior rectal resection for cancer combined with a protective stoma (1993–2005) were included. Loop ileostomy was applied in 61 patients, loop colostomy in 10, and end ileostomy in one. Data regarding the primary operation were recorded prospectively, and stoma complications retrospectively. Results 

Five patients (7%) developed stoma complications immediately after the primary operation, and 14/70 (20%) following hospital discharge. The stoma was closed in 62 (86%) patients after median 4 (range 1–11) months. Five patients (8%) developed complications in hospital after closure. Two patients (3%) died, one of ileal anastomotic leak and one of myocardial infarction. Five patients (8%) had late complications after closure. A total of 19 patients (26%) developed stoma related complications. Eight (11%) of these were reoperated. Premature stoma closure was necessary in two additional patients. Nine patients (13%) ended up with a permanent stoma. Fourteen (19%) patients developed signs of rectal anastomotic failure, six (8%) of whom needed reoperation. One died. Conclusion 

Significant morbidity is related to the use of defunctioning stomas. A protective stoma cannot always prevent serious complications of a rectal anastomotic leak, and a proportion of the patients will not have the stoma closed.
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Keywords: Rectal cancer; diversion stoma; morbidity; protective stoma; rectal resection

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2008-10-01

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