Ostomy Complications and Management

Many rectal cancer patients require a temporary or permanent ostomy. Operations that include an ostomy have high complication rates compared to operations without an ostomy. National Surgical Quality Improvement Program data showed a 37% complication rate for elective cases that include an ostomy.[1] Ostomy-specific complications, including difficulties with pouching, appliance leakage, and local complications are even more common, and may profoundly affect quality of life (Figure 4.1).[2] Ostomy complication rates vary by hospital, suggesting the potential for improvement in the technical aspects of ostomy creation, as well as the quality of perioperative care.[2]

Figure 4.1
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Last updated: April 21, 2023