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Trends in diverticulitis management in the United States from 2002 to 2007.

OBJECTIVE: To demonstrate the recent trends of admission and surgical management for diverticulitis in the United States.

DESIGN: Retrospective database analysis.

SETTING: The National Inpatient Sample database.

PATIENTS: Patients admitted to the hospital for diverticulitis from 2002 to 2007.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Patient characteristics, surgical approach, and mortality were evaluated for elective or emergent admission.

RESULTS: A total of 1,073,397 patients were admitted with diverticulitis (emergent: 78.3%, elective: 21.7%). The emergent admission rate increased by 9.5% over the study period. For emergent patients, 12.2% underwent urgent surgical resection and 87.8% were treated with nonoperative methods (percutaneous abscess drainage: 1.88% and medical treatment: 85.92%). There was only a 4.3% increase in urgent surgical resections, while elective surgical resections increased by 38.7.%. The overall rate of elective laparoscopic colon resection was 10.5%. Elective laparoscopic surgery nearly doubled from 6.9% in 2002 to 13.5% in 2007 (P < .001). Primary anastomosis rates increased for elective resections over time (92.1% in 2002 to 94.5% in 2007; P < .001). For urgent open operation, use of colostomy decreased significantly from 61.2% in 2002 to 54.0% in 2007 (P < .001). In-hospital mortality significantly decreased in both elective and urgent surgery (elective: 0.53% in 2002 to 0.44% in 2007; P = .001; urgent: 4.5% in 2002 to 2.5% in 2007; P < .001).

CONCLUSION: Diverticulitis continues to be a source of significant morbidity in the United States. However, our data show a trend toward increased use of laparoscopic techniques for elective operations and primary anastomosis for urgent operations.

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