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Abstract

Background:

Stomal complications are prevalent and associated with considerable morbidity. This study examined the incidence and potential risk factors for their development.

Methods:

The time of onset and presence of ten specific complications were recorded for patients with an intestinal stoma over 10 years at two urban hospitals. A database was established with 20 explanatory variables (such as common medical co-morbidities) derived from the stomatherapy and medical records. Univariable and multivariable analyses were performed to identify potential risk factors for the development of complications.

Results:

Some 1216 patients (mean age 64 years) with a minimum of 2 years' follow-up were included, of whom 544 (44·7 per cent) underwent surgery for malignancy and 647 (53·2 per cent) had a colostomy formed. There were 1219 complications in total; 807 major complications (excluding excoriation and slough) occurred in 564 patients (46·4 per cent), of which the commonest was parastomal hernia (171, 14·1 per cent). On multivariable analysis, musculoskeletal co-morbidity (odds ratio (OR) 1·79, 95 per cent confidence interval 1·05 to 3·07; P = 0·032), cancer (OR 1·48, 1·13 to 1·93; P = 0·004) and high American Association of Anesthesiologists score (OR = 3·80, 2·14 to 6·75; P < 0·001) were associated with an increased risk of complications. Preoperative siting was associated with a reduced risk (OR 0·59, 0·39 to 0·90; P = 0·014).

Conclusion:

Intestinal stomal complications are common, occurring in almost half of patients. There are certain irremediable risk factors, allowing appropriate preoperative counselling. Copyright © 2010 British Journal of Surgery Society Ltd. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.