Laparoscopic Lavage in the Management of Hinchey Grade III Diverticulitis: A Systematic Review

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To compare the outcomes of laparoscopic lavage and sigmoid resection in perforated diverticulitis with purulent peritonitis.


Peritonitis secondary to perforated diverticulitis has conventionally been managed by resection and stoma formation. Case series have suggested that patients can be safely managed with laparoscopic lavage, resulting in reduced mortality and stoma formation. Recently, 3 randomized controlled trials have published contradictory conclusions.


MEDLINE from 1946 to present, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, and Cochrane database of Registered clinical trials and EMBASE (all via OVID) were searched using the terms “laparoscopy” AND (“primary resection” OR “Hartmann procedure”, OR “sigmoidectomy”), AND “Diverticulitis”, AND “Peritonitis” AND “therapeutic irrigation” or “lavage” AND randomized controlled trial and any derivatives of those terms. We included all randomized controlled trials. Data were extracted from each study using a purpose-designed template. Statistical analysis was undertaken using Revman 5.


Three randomized controlled trials were identified from 48 potential studies. The analysis included 307 patients of whom 159 underwent laparoscopic lavage. Overall, the rate of reintervention within 30 days postoperatively was 45/159 (28.3%) in the lavage group and 13/148 (8.8%) in the resection group (relative risk 3.01, 95% confidence interval 1.15–7.90). There was no significant difference in Intensive Care Unit admissions, 30 and 90-day mortality, or stoma rates at 12 months.


Laparoscopic lavage used in the management of Hinchey grade III diverticulitis leads to more reinterventions within 30 days postoperatively, but does not increase the 30 or 90-day mortality rates compared with sigmoid resection.

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