Buy this Article for $10.95

Have a coupon or promotional code? Enter it here:

When you buy this you'll get access to the ePub version, a downloadable PDF, and the ability to print the full article.


  1. Jakobsson, Jenny PhD, RN


Rectal cancer surgery has developed to be highly technological and precise. Nevertheless, postoperative symptoms can affect patients for a long time after surgery and might also be persistent. The purpose of this study was to describe the level of postoperative symptoms 6 months after rectal cancer surgery as well as differences in symptoms with regard to surgical procedure. Data from 117 patients recovering from rectal cancer surgery were collected 6 months after surgery using the Postoperative Recovery Profile (PRP) questionnaire measuring self-reported postoperative symptoms. Results showed that the majority of patients had no or mild problems with the 19 symptoms recorded in the questionnaire. There was a significant difference between surgical procedures: patients after anterior resection experienced mild problems in gastrointestinal function (physical domain) and interest in their surroundings (social domain), whereas most patients after abdominoperineal resection and abdominoperineal resection with myocutaneous flap showed no problems. In all groups, a considerably high proportion of patients reported severe problems in sexual activity (physical domain). Findings in this study emphasize that healthcare professionals should pay attention to patients recovering from anterior resection especially regarding problems in the gastrointestinal function. Moreover, there is a need to acknowledge eventual sexual dysfunctions in all rectal cancer patients.