, Volume 26, Issue 3, pp 377-384
Date: 15 Oct 2010

Generalized peritonitis due to perforated diverticulitis: Hartmann’s procedure or primary anastomosis?

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Hartmann’s procedure (HP) still remains the most frequently performed procedure for diffuse peritonitis due to perforated diverticulitis. The aims of this study were to assess the feasibility and safety of resection with primary anastomosis (RPA) in patients with purulent or fecal diverticular peritonitis and review morbidity and mortality after single stage procedure and Hartmann in our experience.


From January 1995 through December 2008, patients operated for generalized diverticular peritonitis were studied. Patients were classified into two main groups: RPA and HP.


A total of 87 patients underwent emergency surgery for diverticulitis complicated with purulent or diffuse fecal peritonitis. Sixty (69%) had undergone HP while RPA was performed in 27 patients (31%). At the multivariate analysis, RPA was associated with less post-operative complications (P < 0.05). Three out of the 27 patients with RPA (11.1%) developed a clinical anastomotic leakage and needed re-operation.


RPA can be safely performed without adding morbidity and mortality in cases of diffuse diverticular peritonitis. HP should be reserved only for hemodynamically unstable or high-risk patients. Specialization in colorectal surgery improves mortality and raises the percentage of one-stage procedures.

Accepted as an oral presentation at the 11th European Congress of Trauma and Emergency Surgery. Building Bridges
May 15–18, 2010
Brussels, Belgium
The authors certify that they have no any financial interest in this article.