Ostomy Complications and Management

Many rectal cancer patients require a temporary or permanent ostomy. Unfortunately, operations that involve an ostomy have high complication rates compared to other types of surgery. National Surgical Quality Improvement Program data showed a 37% complication rate for elective cases involving an ostomy.[1] Ostomy-specific complications, including difficulties with pouching and local complications are even more common, and may profoundly affect patients’ quality of life (Figure 4.1).[2] Rates of ostomy problems have been shown to vary by hospital, suggesting the potential for improvements 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: September 21, 2021