Background: The aim of this study was to analyze the stoma-related reinterventions, complications and readmissions after an anterior resection for rectal cancer, based on a cross-sectional nationwide cohort study with 3-year follow-up. Methods: Rectal cancer patients who underwent a resection with either a functional anastomosis, a defunctioned anastomosis, or Hartmann’s procedure (HP) with an end colostomy in 2011 in 71 Dutch hospitals were included. The primary outcome was number of stoma-related reinterventions. Results: Of the 2095 patients with rectal cancer, 1400 patients received an anterior resection and were included in this study; 257 received an initially functional anastomosis, 741 a defunctioned anastomosis, and 402 patients a HP. Of the 1400 included patients, 62% were males, 38% were females and the mean age was 67 years (SD 11.1). Following a primary functional anastomosis, 48 (19%) patients received a secondary stoma. Stoma-related complications occurred in six (2%) patients, requiring reintervention in one (0.4%) case. In the defunctioned anastomosis group, stoma-related complications were present in 92 (12%) patients, and required reintervention in 23 (3%) patients, in 10 (1%) of these more than 1 year after initial resection. Stoma-related complications occurred in 92 (23%) patients after a HP, and required reintervention in 39 (10%) patients in 17 (4%) of cases more than 1 year after initial resection. The permanent stoma rate was 11% and 20%, in the functional anastomosis and the defuctioned anastomosis group, respectively. The end colostomy in the HP group was reversed in 4% of cases. Conclusions: Construction of a stoma after resection for rectal cancer with preservation of the sphincter is accompanied with long-term stoma-related morbidity. Stoma complications are more frequent after a HP. Even after 1 year, a significant number of reinterventions are required.
Original languageEnglish
JournalTechniques in coloproctology
Early online date26 Nov 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 26 Nov 2021


  • Anastomosis
  • Anterior resection
  • Hartmann’s procedure
  • Permanent stoma
  • Rectal cancer

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