Background: Quantitative research has been the primary approach when investigating fast-track colonic surgery. The patient perspective is sparsely represented in research, despite requirement of user involvement.

Aim: To gain insight into patients’ experience of conventional and accelerated colorectal treatment courses respectively.

Method: Three focus group interviews from patients in two conventional treatment courses and one from a fast-track regime. The analysis was performed in a hermeneutic perspective and by using the template style.

Results: Eight themes were identified, of which five had existential character, and among them, the phenomena of trust, anxiety and security were recognized. The themes emerged independently of the treatment course, and the study suggests that the temporal perspective is particularly important to the patients.

Conclusion: The patients’ experiences relate to other phenomena than the core categories in the fasttrack regime for colonic surgery. The study confirms the need to include qualitative evidence and the patient perspective in the development of fast-track surgery and rehabilitation.