To examine morbidity, mortality, conversion rates, and disease recurrence after laparoscopic resection of complicated and uncomplicated diverticular disease in a single center.
Summary Background Data:
In contrast to colorectal cancer, there are few large studies of laparoscopic or open resection for diverticular disease.
This study represents a retrospective analysis of a prospectively collected database of all laparoscopic resections for uncomplicated and complicated diverticulitis from a single center.
Five hundred patients (305 female) were identified (median age 58; range, 26–89). Recurrent diverticulitis was the most common indication for surgery (77%), followed by perforation (10%) and fistulation (9%). Median operating time was 120 minutes (range, 45–285) and median length of hospital stay was 4 (2–33) days. The splenic flexure was routinely mobilized. There was 1 (0.2%) 30-day and in-hospital death and 55 (11%) patients had major morbidity after the procedure. Conversion to an open operation was performed in 14 (2.8%) cases. Dense adhesions were the most common cause for conversion (6 patients). Among patients with complicated diverticulitis, the conversion rate was 5.3%, whereas for those with uncomplicated disease, it was 2.1% (P = ns). Operating time and length of hospital stay do not differ significantly between patients with complicated and uncomplicated diverticulitis. The conversion rate has come down from 8% for the first 100 cases to 1.5% for the last 400 cases (P = 0.002). To our knowledge, there have been no cases of recurrent diverticulitis.
Laparoscopic resection even in complicated cases of diverticulitis is safe and effective. It can be achieved with short operating times and length of stay in conjunction with very low rates of morbidity and mortality. Adherence to surgical principles including routine mobilization of the splenic flexure and anastomosis onto the rectum may explain the absence of disease recurrence in our experience.