A systematic review of patient risk factors for complications following stoma formation among adults undergoing colorectal surgery

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International Journal of Colorectal Disease


Background: Stoma formation is a commonly performed procedure both during and following colorectal surgery. When designed correctly, stomas can dramatically improve patients’ quality of life, but the reverse may occur when complications arise. Given the significant negative impact of complications following stoma formation, understanding risk factors that may be mitigated pre-operatively is important. Method: A systematic search of publications using MEDLINE, CINAHL, and Cochrane databases was conducted in May 2022. Data was extracted and a narrative synthesis undertaken. The evidence-based librarianship (EBL) checklist assessed the methodological quality of the included studies. The systematic review includes various research designs such as randomised controlled trials (RCT), case–control studies, and observational cohort studies written in English. Reviews, conference papers, opinion papers, and those including participants < 18 years old were excluded. No restrictions on the date of publication and study setting were applied. Results: This review included 17 studies, conducted between 2001 and 2020. The study designs were prospective audit, prospective analysis, retrospective analysis, longitudinal analysis and multivariate analysis of self-reported questionaires/surveys. Twenty-two possible risk factors for the development of stoma complications following stoma formation were identified. These include demographical risk factors, underlying medical condition, type of surgery, elective vs emergency surgery, stoma factors, surgical factors, indications for surgery and factors which may impact healing. Furthermore, high BMI, emergency surgery, and stoma type were identified as the most frequently occurring risk factors. Conclusion: Given the large number of risk factors identified, the implementation of a risk stratification tool may decrease the incidence and prevalence of stoma complication development. This, in turn, would decrease the associated healthcare-related costs, and negative impact on mortality, length of stay and quality of life.

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