Background/Aim: Preventive ileostomy is frequently constructed to minimizethe consequences of anastomotic leakage after resection of rectal cancer. There is no consensus regarding the best timing for temporary stoma closure after proctectomy for rectal cancer. This retrospective study sought to determine whether the timing of stoma closure influenced postoperative outcomes. Methods: Subjects were 123 patients with rectal cancer undergoing laparoscopic or open total mesorectal excision surgery with preventive ileostomy from 2012 to 2015. They were divided into 2 groups according the timing of stoma closure: the standard group who had closure within 90 (60-120) days (n = 78) and the late group who had closure after 180 (150-210) days (n = 45). Results: There was no significant difference in operative time, operative blood loss or postoperative complications between the 2 groups. Timing of postoperative fasting and length of hospital stay was similar in both groups. Adjuvant chemotherapy was not a risk factor for postoperative complications after stoma closure. Conclusions: There was no significant difference between different timings of temporary stoma closure in relation to postoperative complications. Delayed stoma closure showed no benefit in prevention of morbidity. Early closure is safe and can provide better quality of life for patients.