Stomas are an integral and potentially confronting aspect of cancer surgery that can be challenging for surgeons, patients and stoma therapist alike. A patient’s ability to cope physically and psychologically with stomas is dependent on a number of variables. Is the purpose for curing cancer, avoiding surgical complications, treating complications or palliation?
Why do some patients need stomas and not others? When do we use stomas? What makes a stoma permanent instead of temporary? What do we mean by temporary?
Using short case studies, the role of stomas in the management of rectal cancers, surgical complications and palliation of stage IV disease will be discussed.