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12.02.2019 | Original Article | Ausgabe 6/2019 Open Access

International Journal of Colorectal Disease 6/2019

Long distance to hospital is not a risk factor for non-reversal of a defunctioning stoma

International Journal of Colorectal Disease > Ausgabe 6/2019
Simon Näverlo, Karin Strigård, Ulf Gunnarsson
Wichtige Hinweise

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To see if road distance to hospital influences stoma reversal rate, time from index operation to stoma reversal, and occurrence of permanent stoma.


Data from all diagnosed cases of rectal cancer from three counties in northern Sweden were extracted from the Swedish Rectal Cancer Registry. The three counties are sparsely populated, with a population density roughly one fifth the average density in Sweden. Distances to nearest, operating, and largest hospital were obtained using Google Maps™. Matched data on socioeconomic variables were retrieved from Statistics Sweden.


In univariate logistic regression analysis, patients living closer to the operating hospital had a higher likelihood of non-reversal than those living farther away (OR 0.3; 95% CI 0.12–0.76). However, no difference was seen in the multivariate analysis. Of the 717 cases included, 54% received a permanent stoma and 38% a defunctioning stoma at index surgery. The reversal rate of a defunctioning stoma was 83%. At follow-up, 61% still had a stoma, 89% of these were permanent, and 11% non-reversed defunctioning stomas. Median time to stoma reversal was 287 days (82–1557 days). Of all 227 stoma reversals, 77% were done more than 6 months after index surgery.


Longer distance to hospital is not a risk factor for non-reversal of a defunctioning stoma. Only 23% had their defunctioning stoma reversed within 6 months after index surgery. Future studies aiming to determine reversal rate need to extend their follow-up time in order to receive accurate results.

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