Ostomy function after abdominoperineal resection—a clinical and patient evaluation



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.

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This study received funding from the Assar Gabrielsson Foundation, the Swedish Society of Medicine, the Gothenburg Medical Society and the Swedish Cancer Foundation, Sahlgrenska University Hospital (ALF).


None of the authors have any conflicts of interest.

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Angenete, E., Correa-Marinez, A., Heath, J. et al. Ostomy function after abdominoperineal resection—a clinical and patient evaluation. Int J Colorectal Dis 27, 1267–1274 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00384-012-1463-1

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  • Ostomy
  • Rectal cancer
  • Abdominoperineal excision
  • Quality of life