Postoperative complications are a common occurrence in colon and rectal surgery. Prevention of postoperative complications requires adequate preoperative assessment of risk along with meticulous intraoperative and postoperative care. Standardizing preoperative, perioperative, and postoperative care will decrease unnecessary variation and likely improve outcomes. Once a complication has occurred, good judgment enables the patient to recover in spite of the complication. Poor planning, an inept system, and poor judgment can lead to post-complication mortality. It is the surgeon’s responsibility to stay vigilant in the management of patients and to be intimately involved in all aspects of care. Vigilance and attention to details will lead to improved outcomes.