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Preliminary Experience with Laparoscopic Peritoneal Lavage for Complicated Diverticulitis: A New Algorithm for Treatment?

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Patients with findings suggestive of a perforated diverticulitis may be subject to colostomy with the attendant morbidity and quality-of-life concerns. Recent literature demonstrates decreased use of laparotomy and colostomy when diagnostic laparoscopy reveals absence of fecal peritonitis. Ten patients presenting with diverticulitis between May 2009 and February 2012 underwent diagnostic laparoscopy. The indication for surgery in nine patients was failure of medical management with or without percutaneous drainage and one had significant pneumoperitoneum at presentation. A comprehensive algorithm was subsequently developed governing medical and surgical management of diverticulitis including the use of diagnostic laparoscopy and laparoscopic peritoneal lavage for patients with Hinchey Stage 3 diverticulitis or abscess formation not amenable to percutaneous drainage. Eight patients underwent diagnostic laparoscopy and laparoscopic peritoneal lavage, whereas two patients underwent diagnostic laparoscopy with conversion to open procedures (low-anterior resection with diverting ileostomy and Hartmann's procedure). Mortality was 0 per cent. Four patients were subsequently readmitted for relapse or recurrence. Two required laparotomy at the time of readmission, ultimately receiving a diagnosis of adenocarcinoma. Two were managed medically and later underwent elective laparoscopic sigmoid colon resection. Diagnostic laparoscopy and laparoscopy peritoneal lavage appear feasible and safe and may be an alternative to more invasive surgery, avoiding laparotomy and colostomy and staging patients for elective laparoscopic resection. Based on our institutional experience, we propose a novel algorithm for the treatment of hospitalized patients with diverticulitis, which incorporates diagnostic laparoscopy and laparoscopic peritoneal lavage while emphasizing patient selection based on clinical examination and imaging.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 August 2013

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