Stomal closure and complications

Associate Professor Steve Smith1

1John Hunter Hospital, NSW

Defunctioning stomas are created in order to minimize complications associated with anastomotic colorectal surgery. The decision to create diverting stoma is a complex one and the science behind it is discussed in this talk along with the timing and methods of closure and ways to minimize complications associated with closure.


Steve is a colorectal surgeon at the John Hunter Hospital and a conjoint associate professor at the University of Newcastle. He is the director of surgical training for the Hunter New England Network, the director of the surgical clinical research unit at the John Hunter, a councillor on the Colorectal Surgical Society of Australia and New Zealand (CSSANZ) and on the foundation board of the CSSANZ.

He completed his PhD through the UoN in 2015 on the topic of ‘Enhancing Recovery after Colorectal Surgery’ and this followed on from a Masters of Surgery completed through Sydney University in 2005 on the topic of rectal prolapse. His primary field of research is in enhancing recovery for patients undergoing surgery for colorectal cancer and has been the principal investigator on over a dozen randomised clinical trials that have resulted in widespread change to clinical practice.

Essentially though he is a glorified plumber who is made to look good (sort of) by the stomal therapists who work with him.