World Journal of Surgery

, Volume 43, Issue 3, pp 751–757 | Cite as

Complications After Ostomy Surgery: Emergencies and Obese Patients are at Risk—Data from the Berlin OStomy Study (BOSS)

  • Chris Braumann
  • Verena Müller
  • Moritz Knies
  • Birgit Aufmesser
  • Wolfgang Schwenk
  • Gerold KoplinEmail author
Original Scientific Report



Complications are common after ostomy surgery. Data from the Berlin OStomy Study were evaluated to determine risk factors for complications.

Patients and methods

Patients with a bowel ostomy were questioned using a questionnaire concerning patients’ characteristics and history as well as the ostomy and its complications. The questionnaire also contained a nine-fielded abdominal sketch to determine the exact ostomy location.


Over 42 months, 2647 patients completed the questionnaire. Obese patients and patients after emergency surgery were more prone to ostomy-related complications. This result was independent of the kind of ostomy (small bowel ostomy or colostomy) and of the abdominal location. The overall ostomy complication rate was 55.6%.


Significantly more complications were recorded after emergency surgery and in obese patients than after elective surgery and in non-obese patients, respectively. There was no preferential abdominal location for avoiding general ostomy complications. The results emphasized the importance of preoperative ostomy site marking by qualified personnel such as ostomy nurses or surgeons to reduce complication rates by respecting individual abdominal configurations. With an increasing prevalence of obesity, ostomy surgery will become even more challenging in the future. A division of the abdominal wall into nine regions might be helpful and more precise for describing and examining ostomy-related complications in the future.



The company PubliCare® (Cologne, Germany) supported this study by contacting the patients and collecting the data. PubliCare® is responsible for home wound treatment and professional ostomy care.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

None of the authors declare a conflict of interest.

Informed consent

The Declaration of Helsinki was observed, and consent was obtained from all patients.


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Copyright information

© Société Internationale de Chirurgie 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chris Braumann
    • 1
  • Verena Müller
    • 2
  • Moritz Knies
    • 1
  • Birgit Aufmesser
    • 2
  • Wolfgang Schwenk
    • 3
  • Gerold Koplin
    • 2
    • 4
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of General and Visceral Surgery, St. Josef-HospitalRuhr University of BochumBochumGermany
  2. 2.Department of General, Visceral, Vascular and Thoracic SurgeryCharité - University Medicine BerlinBerlinGermany
  3. 3.Department of General and Visceral SurgeryStädtisches KlinikumSolingenGermany
  4. 4.Klinik für Minimal Invasive Chirurgie (MIC)BerlinGermany

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