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We thank Faiz et al for their interest in our paper and the suggestions they offered to improve the analyses. The authors stated it may have been more revealing for us to examine the permanent stoma rate rather than the simply the abdominoperineal excision (APE) rate. To address this we have revised our analyses in the manner suggested and tracked the frequency of stoma reversal in the patient cohort. The extract from the Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) which we used in our original analysis included all inpatient stays from April 1997 to March 2005. This resulted in those patients in our cohort who were diagnosed in 2004 having limited HES follow-up time in which we could identify a stoma reversal. As such, our revised analyses cover patients diagnosed between 1998 and 2003 to ensure we had a minimum of 1 year of HES follow-up for all patients.
We also restricted our data set to those patients who underwent an APE (H331), an anterior resection (AR) (H332, H333, H334 or H336) or a Hartmann’s procedure (H335). Patients who had an APE were assumed to have undergone a non-restorative procedure as were …