Background Diverting stoma is often performed in rectal cancer surgery for reducing the consequences of possible anastomotic failure. Closing of stoma follows in most cases after a few months. The aim of our study was to evaluate morbidity and mortality after diverting stoma closure and to identify risk factors for complications of this procedure. Patients and methods At our department, we have performed a retrospective cohort analysis of data for 260 patients with diverting stoma closure from 2003 to 2015. Age, stoma type, patient’s preoperative ASA score, surgical technique and time to stoma closure were investigated as factors which could influence the complication rate. Results 218 patients were eligible for investigation. Postoperative complications developed in 54 patients (24.8%). Most common complications were postoperative ileus (10%) and wound infection (5%). Four patients died (1.8%). There was no effect on complication rate regarding type of stoma, closing technique, patient’s ASA status and patient age. The only factor influencing the complication rate was the time to stoma closure. We found that patients which had the stoma closed prior to 8 months after primary surgery had lower overall complication rate (p<0. 05). Conclusions To reduce overall complication rate, our data suggest a shorter period than 8 months after primary surgery before closure of diverting stoma. As diverting stoma closure is not a simple operation, all strategies should be taken to reduce significant morbidity and mortality rate.