Send to

Choose Destination
J Gastrointest Surg. 2011 Dec;15(12):2251-61. doi: 10.1007/s11605-011-1721-5. Epub 2011 Oct 15.

The influence of fecal diversion and anastomotic leakage on survival after resection of rectal cancer.

Author information

Division of Colon and Rectal Surgery, Department of Surgery, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, No. 201, Sec. 2, Shih-Pai Road, Taipei, 11217, Taiwan.



We analyzed factors associated with the occurrence of anastomotic leakage (AL) and its impact on long-term survival in patients who have undergone resection for rectal cancer. We also investigated the effect of fecal diversion on survival.


Clinical data of patients who received surgery for rectal cancer were reviewed. The difference in AL incidence among different groups was compared and survival rates were calculated. Cox's proportional hazards model was used to compare survival in patients who developed AL or received diversion stoma with those who did not.


Of 999 patients who received resection and anastomosis, 53 patients experienced AL. Multivariate analysis revealed advanced age (P = 0.009) and operative method (P = 0.002) were independent risk factors for AL. Anastomotic leakage was an independent risk factor for overall recurrence (HR 2.30; 95% CI 1.12-4.73). Anastomotic leakage and fecal diversion were independent prognostic factors of overall survival (P = 0.002 and P < 0.001, respectively), cancer-specific survival (P = 0.002 and P < 0.001, respectively), and disease-free survival (P < 0.001, respectively).


Patients who are older and have anastomosis at the anorectal junction or dentate line have an increased risk of AL. A diversion stoma does not appear to decrease the incidence of anastomotic leakage, but may decrease the need of reoperation when leakage occurred. Anastomotic leakage and fecal diversion are independent prognostic factors of overall, cancer-specific, and disease-free survival.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Springer
Loading ...
Support Center