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Hartmann's procedure vs loop colostomy in the treatment of obstructive rectosigmoid cancer.

INTRODUCTION: Colorectal carcinoma is the most common malignant gastrointestinal tumour. There is still a considerable controversy when it comes to urgent surgical treatment of obstructive carcinoma of the left colon and rectum.

METHODS: Seventy-five patients from the randomized trial were followed up. This study was designed as a stratified randomized trial with four stratums according to age and ASA score (older/younger than 60 years and ASA score <>3). Each of the four groups is then divided into two sub-groups according to the operating technique: loop colostomy or Hartmann's procedure.

RESULTS: There were no difference found in hospitalization among the groups (loop colostomy vs. Hartmann's procedure) in the same stratus (P = 0.3192, P = 0.5760, P = 0.9023 respectively), except in the case of doing reconstructive procedure after loop colostomy (P = 0.0049) in the fourth stratum (patients younger than 60 years with ASA score lower than 3). Type of operation had no influence over the blood test values observed on admittance and during hospitalization (P = 0.319, P = 0.871, P = 0.7, P = 0.843, P = 0.52 respectively for the blood values). In terms of surgical and non-surgical complications it has been shown that there is no statistically significant difference between patients treated by two methods. Age, gender, ASA score, type of operation and surgical complications were not singled out as a risk factor for fatal outcome (P = 0.199, P = 0.155, P = 0.764, P = 0.452 and P = 0.724 respectively). The only factors that are singled out as a risk factor for death are the emergence of non-surgical complications and angina pectoris (P = 0.006, P = 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS: There is no difference in surgical treatment of large bowel obstruction caused by rectosigmoid carcinoma. Neither of those two methods showed significant advantage in treatment of large bowel obstruction caused by rectosigmoid cancer.

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