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Aging Clin Exp Res. 2012 Jun;24(3 Suppl):6-8.

Choices in surgical treatment of diverticulitis.

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  • 1Department of Surgical, Oncological and Gastroenterological Sciences, University of Padova Hospital, Padova, Italy.


Complications after surgical treatment of diverticulitis are not very frequent, in view of the total number of patients affected by this pathology, but they do become significant in absolute terms because of the high prevalence of the disease itself. Surgeons continue to debate which option is better: Hartmann resection or combined resection and anastomosis. Since age is a crucial factor when surgery is being considered, we evaluated the outcome of surgical treatment for diverticulitis in patients treated in our unit over a six-month period, in view of the number of elderly patients generally admitted. Between January 2001 and June 2012, 77 patients underwent surgery for diverticular disease in the Geriatric Surgery Unit of the Department of Surgical and Gastroenterological Sciences, University of Padova Hospital. Gastrointestinal resection and anastomosis were performed in 75 patients (97%), resulting in an overall complication rate of 37% and a mortality rate of 1%. This surgical strategy was chosen because, when it is performed by experienced surgeons, it offers the same results in terms of mortality and morbidity as Hartmann resection, while presenting significant advantages as regards the patient's quality of life. Various factors such as the timing of surgery, severity of the disease defined according to the Hinchey classification, patient's clinical condition, and surgeon's experience and expertise can all influence the surgical choice. Several studies in the literature confirm that combined resection and anastomosis is safe and efficacious, but more research is needed to confirm these data.

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