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Postoperative risks of stoma formation in patients with dementia

Abstract

Stoma formation for patients with dementia presents an increasing problem in a global ageing population. While potentially lifesaving, stomas impose significant, long-term postoperative burdens on patients, and may particularly challenge those with cognitive impairment.

In this case, a patient was considered for colostomy to manage a colovesical fistula. The patient’s cognitive status significantly influenced clinicians’ beliefs concerning suitability for stoma formation.

The relevance of dementia to stoma formation is underdiscussed within the literature. In this report, we outline the postoperative risks to which those with dementia undergoing stoma formation are particularly vulnerable. These include increased risk of psychological harm, of relocation to a nursing home, and of stoma-related complications.

We hope an increased appreciation of these postoperative challenges will inform decisions concerning suitability for stoma formation in this patient group.

  • Memory disorders (psychiatry)
  • General surgery

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