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Int J Colorectal Dis. 2005 Mar;20(2):165-72. Epub 2004 Sep 30.

Laparoscopic colectomy for diverticulitis is not associated with increased morbidity when compared with non-diverticular disease.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, University Hospital Schleswig-Holstein, Campus Lübeck, Ratzeburger Allee 160, 23538 Lübeck, Germany.



It was the aim of this prospective study to compare the outcome of laparoscopic sigmoid and anterior resection for diverticulitis and non-diverticular disease.


All patients who underwent laparoscopic colectomy for benign and malignant disease within a 10-year period were entered into the prospective PC database registry. For outcome analysis, patients who underwent laparoscopic sigmoid and anterior resection for diverticular disease were compared with patients who underwent the same operation for non-inflammatory (non-diverticular) disease. The parameters analyzed included age, gender, co-morbid conditions, diagnosis, procedure, duration of surgery, transfusion requirements, conversion, morbidity including major (requiring reoperation), minor (conservative treatment) and late-onset (postdischarge) complications, stay in the ICU, hospitalization, and mortality. For objective evaluation, only laparoscopically completed procedures were analyzed. Statistics included Student's t-test and chi-square analysis (p<0.05 was considered statistically significant).


A total of 676 patients were evaluated including 363 with diverticular disease and 313 with non-inflammatory disease. There were no significant differences in conversion rates (6.6 vs. 7.3%, p>0.05), so that the laparoscopic completion rate was 93.4% (n=339) in the diverticulitis group and 92.7% (n=290) in the non-diverticulitis group. The two groups did not differ significantly in age or presence of co-morbid conditions (p>0.05). In the diverticulitis group, recurrent diverticulitis (58.4%), and complicated diverticulitis (27.7%) were the most common indications, whereas in the non-diverticulitis group, outlet obstruction by sigmoidoceles (30.0%) and cancer (32.4%) were the main indications. The most common procedure was laparoscopic sigmoid resection, followed by sigmoid resection with rectopexy and anterior resection. No significant differences were documented for major complications (7.4 vs. 7.9%), minor complications (11.5 vs. 14.5%), late-onset complications (3.0 vs. 3.5), reoperation (8.6 vs. 9.3%) or mortality (0.6 vs. 0.7%) between the two groups (p>0.05). In the postoperative course, no differences were noted in terms of stay in the ICU, postoperative ileus, parenteral analgesics, oral feeding, and length of hospitalization (p>0.05).


These data indicate that laparoscopic sigmoid and anterior resection can be performed with acceptable morbidity and mortality for both diverticular disease and non-diverticular disease. The results show in particular that laparoscopic resection for inflammation is not associated with increased morbidity.

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