International Journal of Colorectal Disease

, Volume 33, Issue 11, pp 1551–1557 | Cite as

Protective loop ileostomy increases the risk for prolonged postoperative paralytic ileus after open oncologic rectal resection

  • Martin ReichertEmail author
  • Christian Weber
  • Jörn Pons-Kühnemann
  • Matthias Hecker
  • Winfried Padberg
  • Andreas Hecker
Original Article



Postoperative gut dysmotility is a physiologic and frequent temporary reaction after major abdominal surgery. If paralysis merges into a prolonged ileus state, it causes significant morbidity and subsequently worse outcome and discomfort for the patients. Pathophysiology of pathologic prolonged postoperative paralytic ileus remains multifactorial.


We present a retrospective single-center analysis of patients, who underwent a primary open oncologic anterior rectal resection with primary anastomosis with or without defunctioning loop ileostomy during a 43-month period of observation. Primary endpoint was the rate of prolonged postoperative paralytic ileus, defined by the intravenous administration of neostigmine. Confounders for regression analysis were assessed by univariate analysis and correlations between confounders were examined. Odds ratio for prolonged postoperative paralytic ileus in patients with defunctioning loop ileostomy was estimated by a logistic regression model.


Of 101 patients (62 male), 62 (61.39%) received defunctioning loop ileostomy. In univariate analysis, male gender and patients with ileostomy showed more frequently prolonged paralysis by tendency (both p = 0.07). Logistic regression analysis proves the influence of a defunctioning ileostomy on the development of prolonged postoperative paralytic ileus after oncologic rectal resection (p = 0.047). Odds ratio for prolonged postoperative paralytic ileus in patients with ileostomy was 4.96 [95% CI 1.02–24.03].


Although the construction of defunctioning loop ileostomies during rectal resection is a safe, uncomplicated surgical procedure, they can cause significant postoperative morbidity for the patients. High fluid and electrolyte loss are well-known complications, but herewith we raise the evidence for prolonged gut paralysis in patients with defunctioning loop ileostomy.


Rectal resection Oncology Ileostomy Ileus Paralysis 


Compliance with ethical standards

As this was a retreospective analysis, all patients included were initially treated by the local standard of care. The local ethics committee gave approval to retrospectively analyze these patient data.

Supplementary material

384_2018_3142_MOESM1_ESM.docx (19 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 18.6 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Martin Reichert
    • 1
    Email author
  • Christian Weber
    • 1
  • Jörn Pons-Kühnemann
    • 2
  • Matthias Hecker
    • 3
  • Winfried Padberg
    • 1
  • Andreas Hecker
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of General, Visceral, Thoracic, Transplant and Pediatric SurgeryUniversity Hospital of GiessenGiessenGermany
  2. 2.Medical Statistics, Institute of Medical InformaticsJustus-Liebig-University of GiessenGiessenGermany
  3. 3.Department of Pulmonary and Critical Care MedicineUniversity Hospital of GiessenGiessenGermany

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