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Tech Coloproctol. 2015 Aug;19(8):469-74. doi: 10.1007/s10151-015-1328-z. Epub 2015 Jul 2.

When is the best time for temporary stoma closure in laparoscopic sphincter-saving surgery for rectal cancer? A study of 259 consecutive patients.

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Department of Colorectal Surgery, Beaujon Hospital, Public Assistance Hospitals of Paris, University of Paris VII, 100 Boulevard du Général Leclerc, Clichy, 92110, France.



There is no consensus regarding the best timing for temporary stoma closure after proctectomy for rectal cancer, especially if the patient requires adjuvant chemotherapy. This study aimed to assess whether the timing of stoma closure could influence postoperative morbidity.


Patients with rectal cancer undergoing laparoscopic proctectomy with temporary stoma were included and divided into three groups according to the delay of stoma closure after proctectomy: ≤60 days (Group A), 61-90 days (Group B), and >90 days (Group C).


From 2008 to 2013, 259 patients (146 men, median age 61 years) were divided into Groups A (n = 65), B (n = 115), and C (n = 79). At the time of stoma closure, seven (11%) patients received adjuvant chemotherapy in Group A versus 42 (37%) in Group B (p = 0.0002) and 24 (30%) in Group C (p = 0.004), and peristomal hernia was noted in four patients (6%) in Group A versus 14 (12%) in Group B and 21 (27%) in Group C (p < 0.0001). Although overall postoperative morbidity was similar between groups, anastomotic leakage (at the stoma closure site) was noted in one patient in Group A versus zero in Group B versus four in Group C (p = 0.03). Median hospital stay was 5 days in Group A versus 6 in Group B versus 6 in Group C (p = 0.004).


Our results suggested that timing of temporary stoma closure can influence postoperative morbidity. Best results were obtained if stoma closure was performed before 90 days, even during adjuvant chemotherapy. There is no benefit in delaying stoma closure after completion of adjuvant chemotherapy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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