Laparoscopic peritoneal lavage for Hinchey III diverticulitis: is it as effective as it is applicable?

Gustavo L Rossi, Ricardo Mentz, Santiago Bertone, Guillermo Ojea Quintana, Soledad Bilbao, Victor M Im, Carlos A Vaccaro
Diseases of the Colon and Rectum 2014, 57 (12): 1384-90

BACKGROUND: Over the past few years, the laparoscopic peritoneal lavage has emerged as a therapeutic alternative to standard resection procedures. However, its effectiveness and applicability remain debatable.

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to assess laparoscopic lavage in controlling abdominal sepsis secondary to purulent peritonitis.

DESIGN: This study was conducted as a retrospective analysis of prospectively collected data.

SETTING: This study was conducted at a single tertiary care institution.

PATIENTS: Patients requiring emergency surgery for perforated diverticulitis and generalized peritonitis between June 2006 and June 2013 were identified from a prospective database. Laparoscopic assessment was considered in all of the hemodynamically stable patients, and laparoscopic lavage was performed according to intraoperative strict criteria.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Primary outcomes were the effectiveness and applicability of laparoscopic lavage. Secondarily, feasibility, morbidity, and mortality were also assessed.

RESULTS: Seventy-five patients required emergency surgery for generalized peritonitis secondary to perforated diverticulitis. Forty-six patients who underwent laparoscopy presented a purulent generalized (Hinchey III) peritonitis and were examined under the intention-to-treat basis to perform a laparoscopic lavage. Thirty-two patients (70.0%; 95% CI 56.2-82.7) had no previous episodes of diverticulitis. Thirty-six patients (78.0%; 95% CI 66.3-90.1) had free air on a CT scan. The conversion rate was 4% (95% CI 0-10). The feasibility of the method was 96.0% (95% CI 90.4-100), and its applicability was 59.0% (95% CI 44.8-73.2). Median operative time was 89 minutes (range, 40-200 minutes). Postoperative morbidity was 24.0% (95% CI 11.7-36.3), and the mortality rate was 0%. We registered 5 failures, and all of them underwent reoperation. The effectiveness of the procedure was 85% (95% CI 76-93).

LIMITATIONS: This was a single-institution retrospective study.

CONCLUSIONS: The effectiveness of laparoscopic lavage seems to be high. Although its applicability is lower, it could be applied in more than half of patients requiring emergency surgery. This alternative strategy should be considered when laparoscopic assessment reveals Hinchey III diverticulitis.

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