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Am J Surg. 1997 Dec;174(6):733-5; discussion 735-6.

Medical versus surgical management of diverticulitis in patients under age 40.

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1
Department of Surgery, University of California, San Francisco, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Diverticulitis in patients under age 40 is a distinct entity. We compared the medical versus surgical management of diverticulitis for complications and outcomes in these patients.

METHODS:

A retrospective review was performed for treatment, hospitalizations, complications, and outpatient visits. Complications included readmission, recurrent symptoms after antibiotic therapy, and postoperative problems.

RESULTS:

Twenty-nine patients had a radiographic or surgical diagnosis of diverticulitis (18 surgical, 11 medical). Medically managed patients had significantly more emergency department visits (4.7 +/- 6.6 versus 0.3 +/- 0.6, P < or =0.01), and readmissions (7 versus 4, P < or =0.02). Three surgical patients (17%) had a total of 6 complications as compared with 6 medical patients (55%) with 25 complications (chi square, P < or =0.05). All medically treated patients had recurrent symptoms, and 6 required surgery.

CONCLUSION:

Medically managed patients had significantly more emergency department visits and complications than those managed surgically. Surgery is the indicated treatment for the first episode of diverticulitis in patients under age 40.

PMID:
9409607
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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