Background In patients presenting with acute diverticulitis (AD) and signs of acute peritonitis, the presence of extradigestive air (EDA) on a computer tomography (CT) scan is often considered to indicate the need for emergency surgery. Although the traditional management of “perforated” AD is open sigmoidectomy, more recently, laparoscopic drainage/lavage (usually followed by delayed elective sigmoidectomy) has been reported. The aim of this retrospective study is to evaluate the results of nonoperative management of emergency patients presenting with AD and EDA. Methods The outcomes of 39 consecutive hemodynamically stable patients (23 men, mean age = 54.7 years) who were admitted with AD and EDA and were managed nonoperatively (antibiotic and supportive treatment) at a tertiary-care university hospital between January 2001 and June 2010 were retrospectively collected and analyzed. These included morbidity (Clavien-Dindo) and treatment failure (need for emergency surgery or death). A univariate analysis of clinical, radiological, and laboratory criteria with respect to treatment failure was performed. Results of delayed elective laparoscopic sigmoidectomy were also analyzed. Results There was no mortality. Thirty-six of the 39 patients (92.3%) did not need surgery (7 patients required CT-guided abscess drainage). Mean hospital stay was 8.1 days. Duration of symptoms, previous antibiotic administration, severe sepsis, PCR level, WBC concentration, and the presence of abdominal collection were associated with treatment failure, whereas “distant” location of EDA and free abdominal fluid were not. Five patients had recurrence of AD and were treated medically. Seventeen patients (47.2%) underwent elective laparoscopic sigmoidectomy for which mean operative time was 246 min (range = 100–450) and the conversion rate was 11.8%. Mortality was nil and the morbidity rate was 41.2%. Mean postoperative stay was 7.1 days (range = 4–23). Conclusions Nonoperative management is a viable option in most emergency patients presenting with AD and EDA, even in the presence of symptoms of peritonitis or altered laboratory tests. Delayed laparoscopic sigmoidectomy may be useless in certain cases and its results poorer than expected.
Challenging a classic myth: pneumoperitoneum associated with acute diverticulitis is not an indication for open or laparoscopic emergency surgery in hemodynamically stable patients. A 10-year experience with a nonoperative treatment / Costi R.;Cauchy F;Le Bian A;Honart JF;Creuze N;Smadja C. - In: SURGICAL ENDOSCOPY. - ISSN 0930-2794. - 26(2012), pp. 2061-2071. [10.1007/s00464-012-2157-z]
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