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Int J Colorectal Dis. 2018 Jun;33(6):745-753. doi: 10.1007/s00384-018-3001-2. Epub 2018 Mar 12.

The fate of preserved sphincter in rectal cancer patients.

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St. Vincent Hospital, The Catholic University of Korea, 93-6 Ji-Dong, Paldal-gu, Suwon, Gyeonggi-do, 442-723, Korea.
St. Vincent Hospital, The Catholic University of Korea, 93-6 Ji-Dong, Paldal-gu, Suwon, Gyeonggi-do, 442-723, Korea.



Sphincter-saving surgery is widely accepted operative modality to treat rectal cancer. It often requires temporary diverting stoma to avoid the complications of anastomotic failure. This study investigates the cumulative failure rate in sphincter preservation for rectal cancer and the risk factors associated with the permanent stoma.


A retrospective study on 358 patients diagnosed with primary rectal cancer from 2009 to 2013 was conducted at a single institute. Three hundred and thirty-one out of 358 patients with rectal cancer located within 12 cm from the anal verge, who underwent sphincter-preserving surgery, were included in this study. The cumulative rate for permanent stoma was calculated. Univariate and multivariate analysis were performed, comparing the patients with stoma to the ones without.


Temporary diverting stoma was created in 223 (82%) patients. After median follow-up of 42 months, 18 patients (6.6%) persistently used temporary stoma or required re-creation of stoma. Univariate analysis revealed that BMI, tumor location below 4 cm from the anal verge, coloanal anastomosis, anastomotic leakage, and local recurrence were significantly associated with persistent use or re-formation of stoma. Multivariate analysis showed that anastomotic leakage (OR 50.3; 95% CI, 10.1-250.1; p < 0.0001) and local recurrence (OR 11.3; 95% CI, 1.61-78.5; p = 0.015) were the independent risk factors.


Patients with anastomotic leakage and local recurrence are at high risk for permanent stoma. Not only should patients be fully informed of possible failure in sphincter preservation preoperatively, but also patient-oriented decision should be made on patient-tailored surgical plan.


Diverting stoma; Nonclosure; Rectal cancer; Sphincter preservation

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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