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Purpose: The purpose of this study was to compare the recovery outcomes between a normal weight group (BMI<25) and an overweight group (BMI≧25), who received laparoscopic surgery for rectal cancer, to provide information for effective decision making. Methods: Data from 76 patients who received laparoscopic surgery for rectal cancer in a university hospital were reviewed retrospectively from September 2004 to March 2007. Collected data were analyzed using Win SPSS 12.0. The recovery outcomes related to the operation were the length of the operation, the amount of bleeding during the operation, the length of stay in the recovery room, first bowel movement, the length of hospital stay, and complications. Results: There was no statistical difference between the two groups with regard to the recovery outcomes. Conclusion: From the above results, nursing information can be offered to help make effective decisions before the operation for overweight patients with rectal cancer who prefer laparoscopic surgery.