, Volume 27, Issue 5, pp 1766-1771
Date: 23 Feb 2013

Laparoscopic sigmoidectomy in moderate and severe diverticulitis: analysis of short-term outcomes in a continuous series of 121 patients

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The role of laparoscopic surgery has been shown to be safe, feasible, and equivalent to open surgery for moderate diverticulitis, but its role in severe disease is still being elucidated. The aim of this study was to compare short-term outcomes in patients who underwent laparoscopic sigmoidectomy for moderate and severe diverticulitis.


All patients who had elective laparoscopic sigmoidectomy for diverticulitis between April 2003 and September 2011 at the University Hospital of Luxembourg were selected from a retrospective database. The patients were divided in two groups: moderate acute diverticulitis (MAD) included patients with an episode of left-lower-quadrant pain, elevated inflammatory markers, and radiologic evidence of diverticulitis, and severe acute diverticulitis (SAD) included patients with diverticula associated with abscess, phlegmon, perforation, fistula, obstruction, bleeding, or stricture.


A total of 121 patients (81 MAD and 40 SAD) underwent elective laparoscopic sigmoidectomy with primary anastomosis. There were no significant differences between the two groups with respect to demographic characteristics, except for sex ratio. In this series the overall morbidity rate at 30 postoperative days (POD) was 12.4 %, with no significant differences between MAD and SAD (16.0 vs. 5 %, respectively; P = 0.083). No significant differences were found with respect to mean length of hospital stay (6.7 vs. 7.7 days; P = 0.399) as well. The overall conversion rate to open surgery was 2.5 % (3 patients), with no difference between the two groups. Conversion to laparotomy was associated with an increased morbidity rate (11.0 % for full laparoscopy vs. 66.6 % for conversion; P = 0.040) and a longer length of stay (6.8 vs. 16.7 days; P = 0.008). There were no deaths within 30 POD.


Elective laparoscopic sigmoidectomy is safe and feasible for patients with moderate and severe acute diverticulitis and the outcomes are equivalent.