Critical evaluation: surgery for uncomplicated diverticulitis

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Aim: To examine the influence of previous episodes of uncomplicated diverticulitis on the prognosis of patients who subsequently develop complicated diverticulitis.Patients: One hundred and fifty patients with previous episodes of diverticulitis who were admitted to the Mayo Clinic (Rochester, MN, USA) with complicated diverticulitis (perforation, abscess, obstruction, phlegmon, fistula, or bleeding).Design: The retrospective analysis was based on two groups of patients: group A had one or two prior episodes of diverticulitis (n = 118) and group B had more than two prior episodes of diverticulitis (n = 32).Measurement of outcome: The following criteria were used: phlegmon was a symptomatic inflammatory mass separate from and not associated with a purulent fluid collection; pericolic abscess was a collection of purulent material localized near the colon or in the pelvis; obstruction was characterized by obstructive symptoms and a stricture or stenosis diagnosed by radiographic studies or pathological evaluation; fistulas included colovaginal and colovesicular connections; perforation was either a collection of contained air outside the bowel wall or a large amount of free intra-abdominal air; and patients who required a transfusion for a lower gastrointestinal haemorrhage associated with symptoms and signs of diverticulitis were placed in the bleeding category.Results: Perforated diverticulitis occurred more often in patients from group A; because of this, patients in group A underwent more surgical diversions. There were no appreciable differences in operative complications, morbidity or mortality rates.Conclusion: Patients with more than two episodes of uncomplicated diverticulitis are not at increased risk for poor outcomes if they develop complicated diverticulitis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)96-98
JournalANZ Journal of Surgery
Publication statusPublished - 2008


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