Colorectal surgery is a necessity for many disease processes such as diverticulitis, ulcerative colitis, Crohn disease, and colorectal cancers as well as for the many complications of such conditions. The incidence of overall complications related to colorectal surgery has been reported to be between 10% and 30%. Prevention is the necessary key to avoid complications and this may be improved by adequate selection of appropriate procedures for the patient, good surgical technique, and good postoperative care. Nevertheless, complications do occur intraoperatively or postoperatively and must be managed in a timely manner to improve overall patient outcomes. Such complications include paralytic ileus, anastomotic leak, abdominal sepsis, acute mesenteric ischemia, anastomotic bleeding and hemorrhage, wound infection, anastomotic dehiscence and fistula formation, small bowel obstruction, and genitourinary complications.
About the author: Tonna McCutcheon, MSN, APRN-BC, CGRN, is Colorectal Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Vanderbilt Medical Center, Nashville, Tennessee.
Correspondence to: Tonna McCutcheon, MSN, APRN-BC, CGRN, Vanderbilt Medical Center, 1121 21st Ave. S, S-5410 MCN, Nashville, TN 37232 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The author declares no conflict of interest.
Received January 20, 2012
Accepted April 26, 2012