Loop ileostomy in rectal cancer surgery: factors predicting reversal and stoma related morbidity

Susana Ourô, Marisa P. Ferreira, Diogo Albergaria, Rui Maio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Loop ileostomy is performed in rectal cancer surgery to decrease the impact of anastomotic leak but it is associated with a significant complication rate. This study aimed to analyze the morbidity related to diverting ileostomy and to identify factors predictive of complications related to stoma management and reversal, as well as conversion into a permanent ileostomy. Methods: A retrospective study was conducted on 112 patients submitted to oncological rectal resection and defunctioning ileostomy in a Portuguese colorectal unit between March 2012 and March 2019. Results: Loop ileostomy was responsible for 13% of index surgery morbidity and 15% of patients’ readmissions due to high output, stoma stenosis and parastomal hernia. Ileostomy was reversed in 89% cases with 7% Clavien-Dindo ≥ IIIb complications. An association was established between diabetes and higher stoma management morbidity (OR: 3.28 [95% CI: 1.039-10.426]. p = 0.041). Likewise, diabetes (OR: 0.17 [95% CI: 0.038; 6.90], p=0.015), oncological disease stage ≥ III (OR: 0.10 [95% CI: 0.005; 0.656], p=0.047) and index rectal surgery morbidity (OR: 0.23 [95% CI: 0.052; 0.955], p=0.041) were associated with less ileostomy closure. Complications of the index surgery also related to higher stoma reversal morbidity (OR: 5.11 [95% CI: 1.665; 16.346], p=0.005). Conclusions: Diabetes and complications of index rectal surgery were identified as predictive of ileostomy morbidity, closure rate and associated complications. It is essential to adjust treatment decisions to patient’s morbidity risk and adopt a more selective approach concerning the use of an ileostomy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)843-853
JournalLangenbeck's Archives of Surgery
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 2021


  • Loop ileostomy
  • Morbidity
  • Prognostic factors
  • Rectal cancer


Dive into the research topics of 'Loop ileostomy in rectal cancer surgery: factors predicting reversal and stoma related morbidity'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this