Laparoscopic Treatment in Acute Complicated Diverticulitis: A Review of 11 Cases

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We wanted to test the role of laparoscopy in complicated diverticulitis.


All acute complicated sigmoid diverticulitis cases were reviewed during the last 6 years (December 1999 to 2006). Patients whose medical treatment had failed and patients admitted with peritonitis underwent emergency surgery. However, only laparoscopic procedures were included in the study. Patients were programmed 2 to 4 months later for laparoscopic elective colon resection if they underwent first lavage and drainage of the peritoneal cavity.


Eleven patients were treated by laparoscopic procedures out of a total of 37 who underwent emergency surgical therapy for acute perforated diverticulitis. Laparoscopic resection with primary anastomosis was performed in 2 patients (Hinchey I and IIA). Laparoscopic lavage and drainage was performed in the remaining 9 patients (one stage IIA, three stage IIB and five stage III). Three conversions into open Hartmann were needed (stage III). One patient (stage IIB) was lost during follow-up and reappeared 16 months later in general peritonitis. Two patients needed earlier resection because of persistent symptoms. Three remaining patients had a 2nd stage resection at the allocated time. No postoperative death was encountered. Long-term follow-up (mean 6 months) showed one incisional hernia in a converted patient.


In perforated diverticular disease, even though laparoscopic lavage and drainage avoids a colostomy and facilitates a 2nd stage resection, few patients have complete resolution of the inflammatory process. Resection remains mandatory after 8 to 12 weeks. In Hinchey stage III, the success rate still remains to be investigated and weighed against the Hartmann procedure or primary resection. Faecal peritonitis and instable patients should not be considered for laparoscopy.

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