The aim of this study was to compare one-stage colectomy of the descending colon without mechanical preparation in emergency and elective surgery.
From January 2004 to September 2009, 327 consecutive patients underwent surgery in a coloproctology unit for several conditions of the descending colon, 122 on an emergency basis and 205 as elective surgery. In the emergency surgery
group, patients with septic shock, multiorgan failure, immunodeficiency or corticoid treatment, ASA IV stage, generalized fecal peritonitis (Hinchey IV stage), nonviable cecum or unresectable tumors were excluded (n = 54). In the elective surgery group, patients who underwent intraoperative colonoscopy, total abdominal colectomy, or an ostomy were excluded (n = 59). In the remaining 214 patients, a colectomy of the descending colon with primary colorectal
anastomosis was performed without mechanical bowel preparation
, 68 in emergency surgery
and 146 in elective surgery. The end points of the study were mortality, anastomotic dehiscence, and surgical site infection.
No differences were found in mortality (0 in the emergency group vs 3 (2%) in the elective group; P
= .571), symptomatic anastomotic dehiscence (1 in the emergency group (1.4%) vs 4 in the elective group (2.7%); P
= 1.000), or surgical site infection (7 (10.2%) in the emergency group vs 8 (5.4%) in the elective group; P
In emergencies involving the descending colon one-stage surgery may be performed without colonic preparation as safely as elective surgery in selected patients considered suitable for segmental resection of the descending colon and primary anastomosis.