Using a retrospective review of 997 medical records, data were collected from all patients undergoing stoma closure at the Department of Surgery P, Aarhus University Hospital, Denmark, from 1996 to 2010. Patient data after Hartmann reversal and loop-ileostomy closure were compared. Data regarding the grade of the operating surgeon and assistant were extracted.
Out of 997 patients, 700 (70.6%) had a loop-ileostomy closure and 172 (17.4%) had a Hartmann reversal. Postoperative mortality was 0.5%. Seven patients required re-operation (0.7%). Morbidity was registered in 31.9% of the patients, with 131 (13.1%) having early complications and 187 (18.8%) having late complications. Wound infection was the most frequent early complication, which occurred in 31 patients (3.1%). Only 10 patients (1%) had an anastomotic leak. Incisional hernia was the most frequent late complication, occurring in 92 patients (9.3%). A consultant attended 90% of the operations. Junior surgeons never performed stoma closure without supervision. Body mass index was significantly associated with the development of incisional hernia. Hartmann reversal was associated with higher rates of complications compared with loop-ileostomy closure. In patients with Hartmann reversal, stapled anastomosis was associated with stricture in 12 out of 95 cases (12.6%), whereas hand-sewn anastomosis was not associated with stricture (0 out of 64 patients; 0%; P