Major Complications of Small Bowel Diverticula

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Complications of diverticula of the duodenum, jejunum and ileum, exclusive of Meckel's diverticula are extremely rare but can produce major diagnostic and therapeutic problems. Major reported complications include hemorrhage, perforation, biliary and pancreatic obstruction, and inflammation with intestinal obstruction. The mortality of complicated duodenal diverticula is reported from 33 to 48%. Our experience with some of these complications is reported. This experience and a review of other reported cases have led to the following recommendations for surgical treatment. 1) Massively bleeding duodenal diverticulum. Precise localization of the bleeding point by endoscopy and/or arteriography is highly desirable. Excision or partial excision of the diverticulum with suture ligation of the bleeding point is necessary. 2) Perforated duodenal diverticulum. Excision or partial excision, secure closure and drainage are necessary. If peri-Vaterian, a probe should be passed through the ampulla of Vater via the common duct. Unless an entirely satisfactory closure is achieved, complete diversion of the enteric stream from the duodenum by vagotomy, antrectomy with closure of duodenal stump, and Billroth II anastomosis is recommended. 3) Choledochal obstruction due to duodenal diverticulum. Choledocho-duodenostomy. 4) Perforation, bleeding, or obstruction due to jejunal or ileal diverticulum. In rare cases, local excision of the diverticulum is feasible. Usually, resection of the involved segment with primary anastomosis is indicated.

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