Rectal cancer represents a challenge for the general surgeon as patients’ quality of life after the management of the neoplasm is starting to become more and more important. Our review is focused on loop ileostomies and the reasons why their closure might be delayed. We have tried to gather these reasons all together from our experience and from the literature in order to understand whether there are any aspects that can be improved. After a thorough search through different scientific databases we managed to include a total of 29 articles in our research and the information gathered has led to the conclusions of this narrative review. There are many reasons why the closure of an ileostomy might be delayed. While some of them are related to the patient and cannot be controlled or prevented (age, comorbidities), most of the factors that can interfere are preventable (adjuvant therapy, postoperative complications, patient’s wish).
Keywords: ileostomy; rectal cancer; low anterior resection