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30.11.2020 | original article | Ausgabe 1/2021 Open Access

European Surgery 1/2021

Early or delayed sigmoid resection in complicated diverticular disease? A single-center experience

European Surgery > Ausgabe 1/2021
Peter Tschann, Daniel Lechner, Benedikt Feurstein, Stephanie Adler, Paolo Girotti, Martin Hufschmidt, Ingmar Königsrainer
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Diverticular disease appears to be one of the most common conditions in the Western world. The standard approach in treatment of diverticular disease is a laparoscopic resection, usually after an inflammation-free time of 4 to 6 weeks. The aim of this study was to evaluate the timing of operation.

Materials and methods

A total of 61 patients underwent left-sided colonic resection because of diverticular disease between January 2017 and February 2020. Because of complicated diverticulitis (CDD stage 2a or 2b) 37 patients were treated either early within 7 days after first symptoms (group A: n = 17) or delayed about 6 weeks after the first contact and conservative therapy (group B: n = 20).


Overall mortality was 0%. The average operation time was shorter in the early elective group (group A: 140.4 min vs. group B: 151.2 min; p = 0.29). The hospital stay (group A: 9.9 days vs. group B: 16.9 days) and the postoperative stay (group A: 4.8 days vs. group B: 8.1 days) were significantly longer in group B (p = 0.01). We observed—although not reliable due to the low number of patients—more postoperative complications in the delayed group (group A: 5.9% vs. group B: 15.0%; p = 0.61).


The data in this study confirm the early operation as safe and efficient due to lower costs. We can recommend an early approach in selected cases with the first episode of a complicated diverticulitis.

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