BACKGROUND: The effects of neoadjuvant radiotherapy on healing of the rectal stump after a Hartmann procedure for rectal cancer are unknown. OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to analyze the impact of radiotherapy on postoperative complications after a Hartmann procedure for rectal cancer at a population level. DESIGN: This was a population-based observational study. Postoperative outcomes were compared between Hartmann procedures with and without radiotherapy. Risk factors for postoperative intra-abdominal abscess requiring reintervention, any reintervention, and 30-day or in-hospital mortality were analyzed using a multivariable model. SETTINGS: The study included in-hospital registration for the Dutch Surgical Colorectal Audit. PATIENTS: Patients with rectal cancer who underwent a Hartmann procedure (total or partial mesorectal excision with end colostomy) between 2009 and 2013 were included. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Abdominal abscess requiring reintervention, any reintervention, and 30-day or in-hospital mortality were measured. RESULTS: Of 1728 patients who underwent a Hartmann procedure for rectal cancer, 90.5% (n = 1563) received preoperative radiotherapy. Intra-abdominal abscess formation was significantly increased after radiotherapy (7.0% vs 3.0%; p = 0.049). Overall reinterventions (15.2% vs 15.4%; p = 0.90) and 30-day mortality (2.4% vs 3.5%; p = 0.48) were not associated with radiotherapy in univariable analysis. In multivariable analysis, radiotherapy was an independent predictor of postoperative intra-abdominal abscess requiring reintervention (OR, 2.81 (95% CI, 1.01-7.78)) but was not associated with overall reinterventions or mortality. LIMITATIONS: This study was limited by the data being self-reported. Case-mix adjustment was limited to information available in the data set, and no long-term outcome data were available. CONCLUSIONS: Based on these population-based data, radiotherapy is independently associated with an increased risk of postoperative intra-abdominal abscess requiring reintervention after Hartmann procedure for rectal cancer. This finding is relevant for patient-tailored postoperative care but should probably not influence indication for radiotherapy, because it did not affect overall reinterventions and mortality (see Video, Supplemental Digital Content 1, http://links.lww.com/DCR/A193).

Colostomy, Hartmann procedure, Low anterior resection, Radiotherapy, Rectal cancer
dx.doi.org/10.1097/DCR.0000000000000432, hdl.handle.net/1765/84912
Diseases of the Colon and Rectum
Department of Surgery

Jonker, F.H.W, Tanis, P.J, Coene, P-P, & van der Harst, E. (2015). Impact of Neoadjuvant Radiotherapy on Complications after Hartmann Procedure for Rectal Cancer. Diseases of the Colon and Rectum, 58(10), 931–937. doi:10.1097/DCR.0000000000000432