BACKGROUND: A laparoscopic approach has been proposed to reduce the high morbidity and mortality associated with the Hartmann procedure for the emergency treatment of diverticulitis.
OBJECTIVE: The objective of our study was to determine whether a laparoscopic Hartmann procedure reduces early morbidity or mortality for patients undergoing an emergency operation for diverticulitis.
DESIGN: This is a comparative effectiveness study. A subset of the entire American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program patient sample matched on propensity for undergoing their procedure with the laparoscopic approach were used to compare postoperative outcomes between laparoscopic and open groups.
SETTING: This study uses data from the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program Participant User Files from 2005 through 2009.
PATIENTS: All patients who underwent an emergency laparoscopic or open partial colectomy with end colostomy for colonic diverticulitis were reviewed.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: The main outcome measures were 30-day mortality and morbidity.
RESULTS: Included in the analysis were 1186 patients undergoing emergency partial colectomy with end colostomy for diverticulitis. Among the entire cohort, the laparoscopic group had fewer overall complications (26% vs 41.7%, p = 0.008) and shorter mean length of hospitalization (8.9 vs 11.6 days, p = 0.0008). Operative times were not significantly different between groups. When controlling for potential confounders, a laparoscopic approach was not associated with a decrease in morbidity or mortality. In comparison with a propensity-match cohort, the laparoscopic approach did not reduce postoperative morbidity or mortality.
LIMITATIONS: This study is limited by its retrospective nature and the absence of pertinent variables such as postoperative pain indices, time for return of bowel function, and rates of readmission.
CONCLUSIONS: A laparoscopic approach to the Hartmann procedure for the emergency treatment of complicated diverticulitis does not significantly decrease postoperative morbidity or mortality in comparison with the open technique.