Original Article

Mortality and Morbidity After Surgery for Cancer of the Rectum in a Non-Specialized Hospital


  • Barış SAYLAM
  • Bülent ÇOMÇALI
  • Veli VURAL
  • Arife Polat DÜZGÜN
  • Mehmet Vasfi ÖZER
  • Faruk COŞKUN

Received Date: 14.04.2012 Accepted Date: 26.06.2012 İstanbul Med J 2012;13(4):157-165


The aim of this study was to examine the risk factors for postoperative complications and mortality among patients with rectal cancer when treated by surgery in a non-specialized hospital.


A retrospective review of all patients who underwent surgery for pathologically confirmed rectal cancer at our clinic between January 1999 and 2008 was conducted. A consecutive series of 75 primary rectal cancer patients was evaluated.


The factors that affected mortality and morbidity were advanced age, low albumin level, perioperative blood transfusion, and postoperative intensive care support (p<0.05). The factors that affected mortality were the presence of systemic disease, anemia, the need for preoperative nutritional support, and postoperative complications (p<0.05). Gender, smoking habit, American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) score, cleansing of the bowel, diverting ileostomy, and tumor stage did not demonstrate a statistically significant relationship with mortality and morbidity (p>0.05).


Tumor-related factors and choice of procedure are not independently associated with mortality and morbidity after surgery for rectal cancer. Therefore, patient selection for surgery should focus on the clinical status of the patients. In spite of the fewness of the cases, our results are similar to those of specialized hospitals for rectal cancer surgery, i.e., the clinical status of the patients is the leading cause of mortality and morbidity.

Keywords: Mortality, morbidity, rectal cancer, surgery