BACKGROUND Several factors predictive of readmission after colorectal surgery have been identified. Although often grouped together in readmission studies, colon and rectal resections differ in many ways. The aim of this study was to identify factors associated with readmission after rectal resection. STUDY DESIGN We performed a retrospective, single-center cohort study of 565 patients who underwent rectal resections at a tertiary referral center in 2010 and 2011. The main outcomes measure was readmission within 30 days. Univariate comparison between readmitted and nonreadmitted patients was followed by a stepwise logistic regression to identify independent risk factors for readmission. RESULTS There were 105 patients (18.6%) readmitted. Indication (inflammatory bowel disease [IBD], p = 0.008), type of operation (pelvic pouch surgery, p = 0.02), use of laparoscopy (readmission 27.8% vs 14%, p < 0.001), and length of operation (p < 0.001) were associated with a higher readmission rate on univariate analysis. Neither preoperative chemoradiation (p = 0.89) nor American Society of Anesthesiologists class (p = 0.09) was associated with readmission. Logistic regression showed use of laparoscopy (odds ratio [OR] 1.94, 95% CI 1.23 to 3.07), initial diagnosis of IBD (OR 1.84, 95% CI 1.17 to 2.93), and length of operation (OR 1.09, 95% CI 1.03 to 1.16 per 30 minutes) to be independent risk factors. Risks of readmission were 6.7%, 13.4%, 27.4%, and 27.4% with 0, 1, 2, or 3 positive risk factors, respectively. CONCLUSIONS Readmission after rectal resection is associated with the indication for surgery and the operative technique used. Optimization of factors related to the underlying pathology and careful appraisal of the operative technique may result in decreased readmission after proctectomy.