LOS ANGELES – There is no difference in 30-day outcomes for patients undergoing emergency surgery for acute diverticulitis with primary anastomosis with or without proximal diversion, results from an analysis of national data showed.
“Traditionally, patients undergoing emergency surgery for diverticulitis were offered a Hartmann’s procedure,” lead study author Dr. Nathan Hite said at the annual meeting of the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons. “Studies have suggested that resection with primary anastomosis and proximal diversion is a safe alternative to this procedure. That’s attractive because it’s usually a quicker operation and puts less physiologic stress on the patient. It still requires a trip to the operating room, an inpatient hospital stay, and carries a complication rate of up to 20%.”
In an effort to determine if there was a difference between 30-day outcomes in patients treated with resection and primary anastomosis with or without primary diversion, the researchers queried the American College of Surgeons National Quality Improvement Program (ACS-NSQIP) database from 2005 to 2013 to identify patients with a diagnosis of diverticula, diverticulosis, or diverticulosis of colon without bleeding who underwent emergency operations. They divided patients into two groups: 1,912 who underwent resection and primary anastomosis without proximal diversion (group 1) and 123 who underwent resection and primary anastomosis with proximal diversion (group 2). Both open and laparoscopic operations were included.
Dr. Hite, of the department of colon and rectal surgery at Ochsner Medical Center, Metairie, La., reported that the mean age of patients in groups 1 and 2 was 62 and 59 years, respectively. There were no differences in gender distribution but women were significantly older in both groups (P less than .0006). No significant differences between groups 1 and 2 were observed with respect to body mass index (29.1 vs. 28.1 kg/m2, respectively; P = .11), preoperative albumin (3.3 vs. 3.5 g/dL), preoperative hematocrit (35% vs. 28%), preoperative white blood count (13.4 vs. 13.7 x 103/mcL), or functional status (P = .71). Although patients in group 2 did not appear to be sicker at the time of surgery in terms of ASA class or wound class, they did have a higher incidence of diabetes and smoking, compared with their counterparts in group 1.
As for postoperative complications, there were no significant differences between groups 1 and 2 in the incidence of superficial skin infection (141 vs. 7; P = .76), organ space infection (36 vs. 5; P = .09), septic shock (126 vs. 3; P = .18), pulmonary embolism (20 vs. 3; P = .15), cerebrovascular accident (7 vs. 0; P = .5), myocardial infarction (15 vs. 0; P = .32), or death (88 vs. 2; P = .51). Patients in group 2 did have a significantly longer operating time, compared with those in group 1 (158 vs. 133 minutes; P less than .0001).
“Ultimately, the decision to perform a proximal diversion [or not] depends on many factors,” Dr. Hite concluded. “But our study suggests that if the patient is an appropriate candidate for reanastomosis, a diverting ostomy may be safely omitted.” He reported having no financial disclosures.