Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
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Laparoscopic colostomy reversal after a Hartmann procedure: a prospective series, literature review and an argument against laparotomy as the primary approach.

BACKGROUND: Open restoration of bowel continuity after a Hartmann procedure has been associated with significant morbidity, including anastomotic leak, incisional hernia, wound infections and inability to re-establish intestinal continuity. Few studies have examined the role of laparoscopy in performing a Hartmann reversal. The aim of this study was to review our laparoscopic Hartmann reversal (LHR) experience with an emphasis on intra- and postoperative adverse events.

METHODS: A prospectively collected laparoscopic colorectal database involving 3 surgeons in 4 academic centres between 1991 and 2008 was reviewed. Factors evaluated were patient demographics, diagnosis, duration of surgery, intra- and postoperative complications, recovery of bowel function and length of stay in hospital.

RESULTS: Twenty-eight consecutive patients (13 men, 15 women) with a mean age of 61.1 (standard deviation [SD] 15.3) years and a mean weight of 72.3 (SD 20.1) kg underwent LHR. The diagnosis at initial surgery was complicated diverticulitis in 19 patients (67.9%), cancer in 6 patients (21.4%) and "other" in 3 patients (10.7%). The median duration of surgery was 166.2 (SD 74.4) minutes. There were no conversions. There was 1 major intraoperative complication (bleeding; 3.6%). There were 3 postoperative complications (10.7%): 1 abscess, 1 prolonged ileus and 1 wound hematoma. Only 1 patient with an abscess required readmission. There were no observed clinical anastomotic leaks. All patients underwent successful reanastomosis. The median time to return of bowel function was 4 (interquartile range [IQR] 3-4) days. The median length of stay in hospital was 5 (IQR 3-6) days. There was no mortality.

CONCLUSION: Laparoscopic colostomy reversal after a Hartmann procedure is safe and feasible in experienced hands. It is associated with low morbidity, quick return of bowel function and short stay in hospital.

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