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J Minim Access Surg. 2017 Jan-Mar;13(1):47-50. doi: 10.4103/0972-9941.181329.

Reversal of the Hartmann's procedure: A comparative study of laparoscopic versus open surgery.

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Colorectal Surgery Unit, Hospital del Salvador; Department of Colon and Rectal Surgery, Clinica Alemana, Santiago, Chile.
Colorectal Surgery Unit, Hospital del Salvador, Santiago, Chile.



The Hartmann's operation, although less frequently performed today, is still used when initial colonic anastomosis is too risky in the short term. However, the subsequent procedure to restore gastrointestinal continuity is associated with significant morbidity and mortality.


The review of an institutional review board (IRB)-approved prospectively maintained database provided data on the Hartmann's reversal procedure performed by either laparoscopic or open technique at our institution. The data collected included: demographic data, operative approach, conversion for laparoscopic cases and perioperative morbidity and mortality.


Over a 14-year period from January 1997 to August 2011, 74 Hartmann's reversal procedures were performed (laparoscopic surgery-49, open surgery-25). The average age was 55 years for the laparoscopic and 57 years for the open surgery group, respectively. Male patients represent 61% of both groups. There was no significant difference in operative time between the two groups (149 min vs 151 min; P = 0.95), and there was a tendency to lower morbidity (3/49-7.3% vs 4/25-16%; P = 0.24) in the laparoscopic surgery group. In the laparoscopic group, eight patients (16.3%) were converted to open surgery, mostly due to severe adhesions. The length of hospital stay was significantly shorter for the laparoscopic group (5 days vs 7 days; P = 0.44).


The Hartmann's reversal procedure can be safely performed in the majority of the cases using a laparoscopic approach with a low morbidity rate and achieving a shorter hospital stay.

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