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Purpose: The purpose of this study is to evaluate the risk factors for clinical anastomotic leakage after laparoscopic resection for rectal cancer. Methods: From March 2001 and February 2006 in Seoul Veterans’ Hospital, the prospective laparoscopic colorectal resection database identified 101 patients who a had laparoscopic rectal resection with colorectal or coloanal anastomosis. The associations between clinical anastomotic leakage and patient-, tumor-, surgery- and laparoscopic-related variables were studied. Results: The rate of clinical anastomotic leakage was 4 percent (4 of 101). The patient-related variable significantly associated with clinical anastomotic leakage was preoperative radiotherapy. The surgery-related factor that turned out to be significant was anastomosis situated less than 5 cm from the anal verge. No tumor- or laparoscopic-related variables were significantly associated with clinical anastomotic leakage. Conclusions: A protective ileostomy should be considered after a laparoscopic rectal resection for an rectal cancer for anastomosis situated less than 5 cm from the anal verge, particularly when preoperative radiotherapy is being used.