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This study compares open Hartmann's procedure reversal (OHPR) and laparoscopic Hartmann's procedure reversal (LHPR) in patients first treated for peritonitis (Henchey III or IV).Fourteen patients who underwent LHPR during a 2-year period were compared with 20 patients who had previously undergone an open procedure at the same institution.Conversion rate was 14.28%. Operating time was shorter for the laparoscopic group [143 (90 to 240) vs. 180 (90 to 350) min, P<0.05]. Hospital length of stay was shorter for the laparoscopic group [9.5 (4 to 18) vs. 11 (6 to 39)]. Use of patient-controlled analgesia was not significantly shorter in the laparoscopic group [3 (0 to 4) vs. 3.5 (0 to 8)]. Morbidities observed in the LHPR group include a parietal abscess and an anastomotic stenosis without surgical treatment. The OHPR group had 6 complications: 1 anastomotic leak and 5 incisional hernias.LHPR with a conversion rate of 14.28% seems to be a method with shorter operating time and less morbidity compared with OHPR.