The Prevalence of Ostomy-related Complications 1 Year After Ostomy Surgery: A Prospective, Descriptive, Clinical Study

Eva Carlsson, Jeanette Fingren, Anne-Marie Hallén, Charlotta Petersén, Elisabet Lindholm
Ostomy/wound Management 2016, 62 (10): 34-48
Despite advancements in the creation and care of stomas, ostomy and peristomal skin complications are common immediately following surgery as well as in the months and years thereafter. A prospective study to determine the prevalence of ostomy and peristomal skin complications and the influence of ostomy configuration on such complications was conducted 1 year after ostomy surgery among all patients at a university hospital in Sweden. All participants received regular (10 to 14 days post discharge, 6 weeks, 3 months, 6 months, and 1 year post surgery) ostomy follow-up care by a wound ostomy continence (WOC) nurse. All consecutive elective and emergency patients who had undergone surgery to create a colostomy (end colostomy), end ileostomy, or loop ileostomy were eligible to participate. Patients who were reoperated during their first year post-surgery, patients with a urostomy, and patients with double ostomies were excluded from the study. Patient data collected included age, gender, diagnosis, elective or emergency surgery, open or laparoscopic surgical procedure, presence of a colorectal surgeon specialist at surgery, type of ostomy (colostomy, end ileostomy, loop ileostomy), preoperative ostomy siting, counseling, body mass index, American Society of Anesthesiologists classification, and radiation and/or chemotherapy status. Ostomies were evaluated by 4 WOC nurses as to stoma configuration, convexity use, patient self-sufficiency in stoma care, and complications. All 207 patients (53% women) who were eligible agreed to participate in the study. Patient median age was 70 years (range 19-94); 74% underwent elective surgery. Main diagnoses were colorectal cancer (62%) and inflammatory bowel disease (19%). Ostomy types were: colostomy (71%), end ileostomy (26%), and loop ileostomy (3%). One or more complications occurred in 35% of the patients (27% ostomy complications, 11% peristomal skin complications). A colostomy hernia was the most common surgical complication (20%), and significantly more women (69%) and emergency surgeries were noted among patients with a colostomy and an ostomy height of ≤5 mm. The use of convexity was significantly more common among patients with a stoma height of ≤5 mm than patients with stomas >5 mm (P = 0.016) and among patients having emergency operations than among patients having elective surgery (P = 0.045). Of the emergency surgeries, 37% had not been ostomy-sited (P <0.0001). With regular WOC nurse follow-up, the prevalence of peristomal skin complications in this population was low, and adequate ostomy height might have prevented the frequent use of convexity. Explorative studies are needed that consider differences in body configuration when determining optimal stoma height, especially for patients who require emergency surgery.


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