, Volume 27, Issue 10, pp 1267-1274
Date: 27 Mar 2012

Ostomy function after abdominoperineal resection—a clinical and patient evaluation

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access



Abdominoperineal resection (APR) for rectal cancer results in a permanent colostomy. As a consequence of a recent change in operative technique from standard (S-APR) to extralevator resection (E-APR), the perineal part of the procedure is now performed with the patient in a prone jackknife position. The impact of this change on stoma function is unknown. The aim was to determine stoma-related complications and the individual patient experience of a stoma.


Consecutive patients with rectal cancer operated on with APR in one institution in 2004 to 2009 were included. Recurrent cancer, palliative procedures, pre-existing stoma and patients not alive at the start of the study were excluded. Data were collected from hospital records and the national colorectal cancer registry. A questionnaire was sent out to patients. The median follow-up was 44 months (13–84) after primary surgery.


Ninety-six patients were alive in February 2011. Seventy seven agreed to participate. Sixty-nine patients (90 %) returned the questionnaire. Stoma necrosis was more common for E-APR, 34 % vs. 10 %, but bandaging problems and low stoma height were more common for S-APR. There were no differences in the patients' experience of stoma function. In all, 35 % of the patients felt dirty and unclean, but 90 % felt that they had a full life and could engage in leisure activities of their choice.


This exploratory study indicates no difference in stoma function after 1 year between S-APR and E-APR. Over 90 % of the patients accept their stoma, but our study indicates that more information and support for patients are warranted.