Rates of morbidity and mortality after closure of loop and end colostomy

W. J. Mileski, R. V. Rege, R. J. Joehl, D. L. Nahrwold

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


The purported ease and safety of closure of loop colostomy are cited as reasons for avoiding end colostomy, with or without resection. However, data comparing the complications of loop colostomy closure and end colostomy takedown and anastomosis are sparse. We analyzed data from 93 consecutive colostomy closures, of which 62 were loop and 31 were end colostomies. The two groups were comparable with respect to age, the underlying disease and risk factors, such as coronary artery disease, diabetes, hypertension, steroid dependence, hypoalbuminemia and smoking. Closure of end colostomies took longer and was associated with more loss of blood than closure of loop colostomies. However, the mortality rates for closure of loop (4.8 per cent) and end (3.2 per cent) colostomies were not significantly different. The complication rates were identical (16 per cent). Although none of the other risk factors were associated with increased rates of mortality or morbidity, the detrimental effects of steroid dependence and preoperative hypoalbuminemia were striking. All four of the deaths and 60 per cent of the complications occurred in patients with steroid dependence or hypoalbuminemia, or both. The rates of wound infection after primary or secondary closure of the stoma site were not significantly different. We concluded that loop colostomy closure is not associated with fewer complications than closure of end colostomy, even though the latter takes longer and is more difficult. Hypoalbuminemic and steroid-dependent patients should undergo colostomy closure with caution, if at all. Primary closure of the stomal site is safe and reduces the length of hospital stay.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)17-21
Number of pages5
JournalSurgery Gynecology and Obstetrics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1990
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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