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1.  Factors Associated With Complications of Open Versus Laparoscopic Sigmoid Resection for Diverticulitis 
This study critically reviews sigmoid colon resection for diverticulitis comparing open and laparoscopic techniques.
We conducted a retrospective review of all open and laparoscopic cases of diverticulitis between 1992 and 2001. Data analyzed included the following: indications for operation, postoperative complications, and incidence of laparoscopic conversion to laparotomy. Major and minor complications were analyzed in relation to patients' preoperative diagnosis, age, presence or absence of splenic flexure mobilization, length of stay, and laparoscopic sigmoid resection versus open sigmoid resection.
Over a 10-year period, 166 resections for diverticulitis were performed including 126 open cases and 40 laparoscopic cases. No significant differences existed in patient characteristics between the groups. Major complications occurred in 14% of patients, and the laparoscopic conversion rate was 20%. The presence of abscess, fistula, or stricture preoperatively was associated with a higher complication rate only in patients ≥50 years old undergoing open sigmoid resection. The length of stay between patients undergoing laparoscopic resection was significantly less than in patients having open resection.
Advanced laparoscopic sigmoid resection is an alternative to open sigmoid resection in patients with diverticulitis and its complications. Open sigmoid resection in patients >50 years may have a higher complication rate in complicated diverticulitis when compared with laparoscopic sigmoid resection (all patient ages) and open sigmoid resection (patients <50 years old). Regarding complications, no difference existed between the length of stay in patients with open vs. laparoscopic resection.
PMCID: PMC3015556  PMID: 15791973
Laparoscopy; Sigmoid resection; Diverticulitis
2.  Laparoscopic Sigmoidectomy for Diverticulitis: a Prospective Study 
Results of this study suggest that laparoscopic surgery for diverticular disease is a safe, feasible, and effective management strategy.
Surgical treatment of complicated colonic diverticular disease is still debatable. The aim of this prospective study was to evaluate the outcome of laparoscopic sigmoid colectomy in patients with diverticulitis. Patients offered laparoscopic surgery presented with acute complicated diverticulitis (Hinchey type I, II, III), chronically recurrent diverticulitis, bleeding, or sigmoid stenosis caused by chronic diverticulitis.
All patients who underwent laparoscopic colectomy within a 12-year period were prospectively entered into a database registry. One-stage laparoscopic resection and primary anastomosis constituted the planned procedure. A 4-trocar approach with suprapubic minilaparotomy was performed. Main data recorded were age, sex, postoperative pain, return of bowel function, operation time, duration of hospital stay, and early and late complications.
During the study period, 260 sigmoid colectomies were performed for diverticulitis. The cohort included 104 male and 156 female patients; M to F ratio was 4:6. Postoperative pain was controlled by NSAIDs or weak opioid analgesia. Fifteen patients (5.7%) required conversion from laparoscopic to open colectomy. The most common reasons for conversion were directly related to the inflammatory process, abscess, and peritonitis. Mean operative time was 130±54. Average postoperative hospital stay was 10±3 days. A longer hospital stay was recorded for Hinchey type IIb patients. Complications were recorded in 30 patients (11.5%). The most common complications that required reoperation were hemorrhage in 2 patients (0.76) and anastomotic leak in 5 patients (only 3 of them required reoperation). The mortality among them was 2 patients (0.76%).
Laparoscopic surgery for diverticular disease is safe, feasible, and effective. Therefore, laparoscopic colectomy has replaced open resection as standard surgery for recurrent and complicated diverticulitis at our institution.
PMCID: PMC3083034  PMID: 21605507
Sigmoid diverticulitis; Laparoscopic surgery; Hinchey classification; Colectomy
3.  Surgical outcomes and their relation to the number of prior episodes of diverticulitis 
Gastroenterology Report  2013;1(1):64-69.
Purpose: We aimed to investigate the relationship between the number of prior episodes of diverticulitis and outcomes of sigmoid colectomy.
Methods: After institutional review board approval, a retrospective review was undertaken based on records of patients who underwent sigmoid resection with anastomosis for diverticulitis between 4 May 2007 and 29 February 2012. Patients were divided into two groups: 0–3 attacks (group 1) and ≥4 attacks (group 2). Statistical analyses were performed to determine whether the groups differed on demographic, intra-operative and postoperative variables.
Results: We identified 247 patients who underwent sigmoid colectomy for diverticulitis (45 open, 202 laparoscopic). The two groups did not differ significantly in age, gender, American Society of Anesthesiologists score, past surgical history, body mass index, length of stay, use of a stoma or number of prior hospitalizations for diverticulitis. Group 1 had a higher rate of abscesses (30.6 vs 6.8%, P < 0.001) and fistulas (19.4 vs 0.9%, P < 0.001); a longer operative time (190.1 vs 166.3 min, P = 0.0024); and higher rates of postoperative complications (45.8 vs 23.3%, P < 0.001) and conversion (17.1 vs 4.4%, P = 0.0091). The most common surgical complications in groups 1 and 2 were wound infection (35 vs 10) and ileus (20 vs 8). Based on multivariate regression analysis, ≥4 attacks were independently correlated with a lower complication rate (odds ratio = 0.512, 95% confidence interval = 0.266–0.987, P = 0.046).
Conclusions: Patients who had ≥4 previous attacks of diverticulitis had fewer postoperative complications.
PMCID: PMC3941440  PMID: 24759669
diverticulitis; sigmoidectomy; numbers of prior attacks
4.  The transvaginal hybrid NOTES versus conventionally assisted laparoscopic sigmoid resection for diverticular disease (TRANSVERSAL) trial: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial 
Trials  2014;15(1):454.
Natural orifice transluminal endoscopic surgery (NOTES) is the consequence of further development of minimally invasive surgery to reduce abdominal incisions and surgical trauma. The potential benefits are expected to be less postoperative pain, faster convalescence, and reduced risk for incisional hernias and wound infections compared to conventional methods. Recent clinical studies have demonstrated the feasibility and safety of transvaginal NOTES, and transvaginal access is currently the most frequent clinically applied route for NOTES procedures. However, despite increasing clinical application, no firm clinical evidence is available for objective assessment of the potential benefits and risks of transvaginal NOTES compared to the current surgical standard.
The TRANSVERSAL trial is designed as a randomized controlled trial to compare transvaginal hybrid NOTES and laparoscopic-assisted sigmoid resection. Female patients referred to elective sigmoid resection due to complicated or reoccurring diverticulitis of the sigmoid colon are considered eligible. The primary endpoint will be pain intensity during mobilization 24 hours postoperatively as measured by the blinded patient and blinded assessor on a visual analogue scale (VAS). Secondary outcomes include daily pain intensity and analgesic use, patient mobility, intraoperative complications, morbidity, length of stay, quality of life, and sexual function. Follow-up visits are scheduled 3, 12, and 36 months after surgery. A total sample size of 58 patients was determined for the analysis of the primary endpoint. The confirmatory analysis will be performed based on the intention-to-treat (ITT) principle.
The TRANSVERSAL trial is the first study to compare transvaginal hybrid NOTES and conventionally assisted laparoscopic surgery for colonic resection in a randomized controlled setting. The results of the TRANSVERSAL trial will allow objective assessment of the potential benefits and risks of NOTES compared to the current surgical standard for sigmoid resection.
Trial registration
The trial protocol was registered in the German Clinical Trials Register ( DRKS00005995) on March 27, 2014.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/1745-6215-15-454) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4246541  PMID: 25414061
Diverticular disease; Laparoscopy; Natural orifice transluminal endoscopic surgery; NOTES; Randomized controlled trial; Sigmoid resection; Study protocol; Transvaginal
5.  Impact of early or delayed elective resection in complicated diverticulitis 
AIM: To investigate the outcomes of early and delayed elective resection after initial antibiotic treatment in patients with complicated diverticulitis.
METHODS: The study, a non-randomized comparison of the two approaches, included 421 consecutive patients who underwent surgical resection for complicated sigmoid diverticulitis (Hinchey classification I-II) at the Department of Surgery, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf between 2004 and 2009. The operating procedure, duration of hospital and intensive care unit stay, outcome, complications and socioeconomic costs were analyzed, with comparison made between the early and delayed elective resection strategies.
RESULTS: The severity of the diverticulitis and American Society of Anesthesiologists score were comparable for the two groups. Patients who underwent delayed elective resection had a shorter hospital stay and operating time, and the rate of successfully completed laparoscopic resections was higher (80% vs 75%). Eight patients who were scheduled for delayed elective resection required urgent surgery because of complications of the diverticulitis, which resulted in a high rate of morbidity. Analysis of the socioeconomic effects showed that hospitalization costs were significantly higher for delayed elective resection compared with early elective resection (9296 € ± 694 € vs 8423 € ± 968 €; P = 0.001). Delayed elective resection showed a trend toward lower complications, and the operation appeared simpler to perform than early elective resection. Nevertheless, delayed elective resection carries a risk of complications occurring during the period of 6-8 wk that could necessitate an urgent resection with its consequent high morbidity, which counterbalanced many of the advantages.
CONCLUSION: Overall, early elective resection for complicated, non-perforated diverticulitis is shown to be a suitable alternative to delayed elective resection after 6-8 wk, with additional beneficial socioeconomic effects.
PMCID: PMC3247691  PMID: 22219596
Complicated diverticulitis; Resection of sigmoid; Delayed elective resection; Early elective resection; Socioeconomic effects
6.  DIRECT trial. Diverticulitis recurrences or continuing symptoms: Operative versus conservative Treatment. A MULTICENTER RANDOMISED CLINICAL TRIAL 
BMC Surgery  2010;10:25.
Persisting abdominal complaints are common after an episode of diverticulitis treated conservatively. Furthermore, some patients develop frequent recurrences. These two groups of patients suffer greatly from their disease, as shown by impaired health related quality of life and increased costs due to multiple specialist consultations, pain medication and productivity losses.
Both conservative and operative management of patients with persisting abdominal complaints after an episode of diverticulitis and/or frequently recurring diverticulitis are applied. However, direct comparison by a randomised controlled trial is necessary to determine which is superior in relieving symptoms, optimising health related quality of life, minimising costs and preventing diverticulitis recurrences against acceptable morbidity and mortality associated with surgery or the occurrence of a complicated recurrence after conservative management.
We, therefore, constructed a randomised clinical trial comparing these two treatment strategies.
The DIRECT trial is a multicenter randomised clinical trial. Patients (18-75 years) presenting themselves with persisting abdominal complaints after an episode of diverticulitis and/or three or more recurrences within 2 years will be included and randomised. Patients randomised for conservative treatment are treated according to the current daily practice (antibiotics, analgetics and/or expectant management). Patients randomised for elective resection will undergo an elective resection of the affected colon segment. Preferably, a laparoscopic approach is used.
The primary outcome is health related quality of life measured by the Gastro-intestinal Quality of Life Index, Short-Form 36, EQ-5D and a visual analogue scale for pain quantification. Secondary endpoints are morbidity, mortality and total costs. The total follow-up will be three years.
Considering the high incidence and the multicenter design of this study, it may be assumed that the number of patients needed for this study (n = 214), may be gathered within one and a half year.
Depending on the expertise and available equipment, we prefer to perform a laparoscopic resection on patients randomised for elective surgery. Should this be impossible, an open technique may be used as this also reflects the current situation.
Trial Registration
(Trial register number: NTR1478)
PMCID: PMC2928179  PMID: 20691040
7.  Elective Laparoscopic-Assisted Colectomy for Sigmoid Diverticulitis 
The aim of this study was to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of laparoscopic-assisted sigmoid colectomy for diverticulitis and to assess its postoperative advantages.
From 1999 to 2001, 5 patients were selectively operated on with a laparoscopic-assisted procedure for uncomplicated sigmoid diverticulitis. In the preceding period (September 1997 through December 1998), 4 patients underwent open procedures for the same pathology. The surgical indication with the same criteria was restrictive: at least 2 acute episodes had occurred that were treated with hospital admission and that were separated by an adequate period (2 months) of medical therapy.
No conversions of laparoscopy to an open procedure were necessary. Age, sex, weight, morbidity, and mortality were similar between the 2 groups. Operative time was 180 minutes for laparoscopy and 120 minutes for laparotomy. Postoperative resumption of peristalsis was 24 hours versus 4 days, resumption of alimentation was on the second postoperative day versus the fifth postoperative day, and hospital stay was 7 days versus 12 days for laparoscopy and laparotomy, respectively.
This study shows the feasibility and the advantages of elective laparoscopic-assisted colonic re-section for uncomplicated sigmoid diverticulitis. The advantages of the laparoscopic approach are the lower need for analgesics and the more precocious ambulation, canalization, resumption of alimentation, and the shorter hospital stay.
PMCID: PMC3015656  PMID: 16709361
Left colectomy; Laparoscopic approach; Laparotomic approach; Uncomplicated diverticular disease
8.  Position paper: management of perforated sigmoid diverticulitis 
Over the last three decades, emergency surgery for perforated sigmoid diverticulitis has evolved dramatically but remains controversial. Diverticulitis is categorized as uncomplicated (amenable to outpatient treatment) versus complicated (requiring hospitalization). Patients with complicated diverticulitis undergo computerized tomography (CT) scanning and the CT findings are used categorize the severity of disease. Treatment of stage I (phlegmon with or without small abscess) and stage II (phlegmon with large abscess) diverticulitis (which includes bowel rest, intravenous antibiotics and percutaneous drainage (PCD) of the larger abscesses) has not changed much over last two decades. On the other hand, treatment of stage III (purulent peritonitis) and stage IV (feculent peritonitis) diverticulitis has evolved dramatically and remains morbid. In the 1980s a two stage procedure (1st - segmental sigmoid resection with end colostomy and 2nd - colostomy closure after three to six months) was standard of care for most general surgeons. However, it was recognized that half of these patients never had their colostomy reversed and that colostomy closure was a morbid procedure. As a result starting in the 1990s colorectal surgical specialists increasing performed a one stage primary resection anastomosis (PRA) and demonstrated similar outcomes to the two stage procedure. In the mid 2000s, the colorectal surgeons promoted this as standard of care. But unfortunately despite advances in perioperative care and their excellent surgical skills, PRA for stage III/IV diverticulitis continued to have a high mortality (10-15%). The survivors require prolonged hospital stays and often do not fully recover. Recent case series indicate that a substantial portion of the patients who previously were subjected to emergency sigmoid colectomy can be successfully treated with less invasive nonoperative management with salvage PCD and/or laparoscopic lavage and drainage. These patients experience a surprisingly lower mortality and more rapid recovery. They are also spared the need for a colostomy and do not appear to benefit from a delayed elective sigmoid colectomy. While we await the final results ongoing prospective randomized clinical trials testing these less invasive alternatives, we have proposed (based primarily on case series and our expert opinions) what we believe safe and rationale management strategy.
PMCID: PMC3877957  PMID: 24369826
Complicated diverticulitis; Hartmann’s procedure; Primary resection anastomosis; Laparoscopic lavage and drainage; Percutaneous drainage
9.  Elective laparoscopic recto-sigmoid resection for diverticular disease is suitable as a training operation 
Some authors state that elective laparoscopic recto-sigmoid resection is more difficult for diverticular disease as compared with malignancy. For this reason, starting laparoscopic surgeons might avoid diverticulitis, making the implementation phase unnecessary long. The aim of this study was to determine whether laparoscopic resection for diverticular disease should be included during the implementation phase.
All consecutive patients who underwent an elective laparoscopic recto-sigmoid resection in our hospital for diverticulitis or cancer from 2003 to 2007 were analysed.
A total of 256 consecutive patients were included in this prospective cohort study. One hundred and fifty-one patients were operated on for diverticulitis and 105 for cancer. There was no significant difference in operation time (168 vs. 172 min), blood loss (189 vs. 208 ml), conversion rates (9.9% vs. 11.4%), hospital stay (8 vs. 8 days), total number of peroperative (2.3% vs. 1.6%) or postoperative complications (21.9% vs. 26.9%). The occurrence of anastomotic leakages was associated with higher American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) classification, which differed between the groups (86.8% vs. 64.8% ASA I–II, p < 0.001).
Since there are no differences in operation time, blood loss, conversion rate and total complications, there is no need to avoid laparoscopic recto-sigmoid resection for diverticular disease early in the learning curve.
PMCID: PMC2830626  PMID: 20145937
Laparoscopy; Colon cancer; Diverticular disease; Recto-sigmoid resection; Teaching; Malignancy
10.  Subclinical peritonitis due to perforated sigmoid diverticulitis 14 years after heart-lung transplantation 
Acute complicated diverticulitis, particularly with colon perforation, is a rare but serious condition in transplant recipients with high morbidity and mortality. Neither acute diverticulitis nor colon perforation has been reported in young heart-lung grafted patients. A case of subclinical peritonitis due to perforated acute sigmoid diverticulitis 14 years after heart-lung transplantation is reported. A 26-year-old woman, who received heart-lung transplantation 14 years ago, presented with vague abdominal pain. Physical examination was normal. Blood tests revealed leukocytosis. Abdominal X-ray showed air-fluid levels while CT demonstrated peritonitis due to perforated sigmoid diverticulitis. Sigmoidectomy and end-colostomy (Hartmann’s procedure) were performed. Histopathology confirmed perforated acute sigmoid diverticulitis. The patient was discharged on the 8th postoperative day after an uneventful postoperative course. This is the first report of acute diverticulitis resulting in colon perforation in a young heart-lung transplanted patient. Clinical presentation, even in peritonitis, may be atypical due to the masking effects of immunosuppression. A high index of suspicion, urgent aggressive diagnostic investigation of even vague abdominal symptoms, adjustment of immunosuppression, broad-spectrum antibiotics, and immediate surgical treatment are critical. Moreover, strategies to reduce the risk of this complication should be implemented. Pretransplantation colon screening, prophylactic pretransplantation sigmoid resection in patients with diverticulosis, and elective surgical intervention in patients with nonoperatively treated acute diverticulitis after transplantation deserve consideration and further studies.
PMCID: PMC2716625  PMID: 18567091
Heart-lung transplantation; Acute diverticulitis; Colon perforation; Subclinical peritonitis
11.  Laparoscopic Resection of Chronic Sigmoid Diverticulitis with Fistula 
This study indicates that patients with sigmoid diverticulitis and fistula may be successfully treated by laparoscopic excision with outcomes similar to patients without fistula.
Background and Objectives:
A growing number of operations for sigmoid diverticulitis are being done laparoscopically. There is a paucity of data on the outcome of laparoscopy for sigmoid diverticulitis complicated by colonic fistula. The aim of this study was to compare the results of laparoscopic resection of sigmoid diverticulitis with and without colonic fistula.
A retrospective review was conducted of all patients who underwent laparoscopic resection of sigmoid diverticulitis complicated by fistula at a single tertiary care institution over a 7-year period. Comparison was made with a group of patients who underwent resection for diverticulitis without fistula during the same study period.
Forty-two patients were analyzed (group 1: diverticular fistula, group 2: no fistula). The median age was similar (49 vs. 50 years, P = .68). A chronic abscess was present in 24% of patients in group 1 and 10% in group 2 (P = .40). Fistula types were colovesical (71%), colovaginal (19%), and colocutaneous (10%). Operation types were sigmoidectomy (57% vs. 81%) and anterior resection (43% vs. 19%) in groups 1 and 2, respectively (P = .18). Ureteral catheters were used more frequently in group 1 (67% vs. 33% [P = .06]). No difference was noted in operative time, blood loss, conversion rate, length of stay, overall complications, wound infection rate, readmission rate, reoperation rate, and mortality. All patients healed without fistula recurrence.
Patients with sigmoid diverticulitis with fistula can be successfully treated with laparoscopic excision, with similar outcomes for patients without fistula.
PMCID: PMC3866070  PMID: 24398208
Laparoscopic resection; Sigmoid diverticulitis; Colonic fistula
12.  Complications of diverticular disease: surgical laparoscopic treatment 
Il Giornale di Chirurgia  2014;35(5-6):126-128.
Surgical treatment of complicated colonic diverticular disease is still debatable. The aim of our study was to evaluate the outcome of laparoscopic colon resection in patients with diverticulitis and with complications like colon-vescical fistula, peridiverticular abscess, perforation or stricture.
All patients underwent laparoscopic colectomy within 8 years period. Main data recorded were age, sex, return of bowel function, operation time, duration of hospital stay, ASA score, body mass index (BMI), early and late complications. During the study period, 33 colon resections were performed for diverticulitis and complications of diverticulitis. We performed 5 associated procedures. We had 2 postoperative complications; 1 of these required a redo operation with laparotomy for anastomotic leak and 3 patients required conversion from laparoscopic to open colectomy. The most common reasons for conversion were related to the inflammatory process with a severe adhesion syndrome. Mean operative time was 229 minutes, and average postoperative hospital stay was 9,8 days.
Laparoscopic surgery for complications of diverticular disease is safe, effective and feasible. Laparoscopic colectomy has replaced open resection as standard surgery for recurrent and complicated diverticulitis in our institution.
PMCID: PMC4321514  PMID: 24979103
Laparoscopic surgery; Laparoscopy; Diverticulitis; Fistula; Abdomen; Complications
13.  Single-port Laparoscopic Reversal of Hartmann's Procedure: Technique and Results 
Minimally Invasive Surgery  2011;2011:356784.
In general, reversal of Hartmann's procedure is associated with a high morbidity and therefore leads to a low rate of intestinal restoration. Reversal of Hartmann's procedure has to be seen as a complex abdominal operation with the same possible complications as in other colorectal resections. By using the laparoscopic technique, operative access trauma by laparotomy can be minimized. After introducing single-port access into laparoscopic surgery beginning with cholecystectomies and sigmoid resections, we started with the first single-port laparoscopic reversal of Hartmann's procedure in January 2010. After excision of the colostoma, mobilization, and reponing into the abdominal cavity, the single-port trocar was placed at the stoma incision without any extra scar. We investigated whether the single-port laparoscopic reversal is as safely feasible as the “conventional” laparoscopic procedure. Till December 2010, single-port reversal operation was performed in 8 patients 2–4 months after Hartmann's procedure because of complicated diverticulitis. No conversion to “conventional” laparoscopic or open procedure was necessary in 1 patient one extra 5 mm trocar was used. The average operation time was 74 min. Except for one wound complication, the postoperative course was uncomplicated. The patients were discharged after 4 to 8 postoperative days. Single-port reversal of Hartmann's procedure has showed as a new method for minimizing the access trauma even further than “conventional” laparoscopic surgery.
PMCID: PMC3195285  PMID: 22096620
14.  Incidence and Risk Factors of Recurrence after Surgery for Pathology-proven Diverticular Disease 
World Journal of Surgery  2008;32(7):1501-1506.
Diverticular disease is a common problem in Western countries. Rationale for elective surgery is to prevent recurrent complicated diverticulitis and to reduce emergency procedures. Recurrent diverticulitis occurs in about 10% after resection. The pathogenesis for recurrence is not completely understood. We studied the incidence and risk factors for recurrence and the overall morbidity and mortality of surgical therapy for diverticular disease.
Medical records of 183 consecutive patients with pathology-proven diverticulitis were eligible for evaluation. Mean duration of follow-up was 7.2 years. Number of preoperative episodes, emergency or elective surgeries, type of operation, level of anastomosis, postoperative complications, persistent postoperative pain, complications associated with colostomy reversal, and recurrent diverticulitis were noted. The Kaplan-Meier method was used to calculate the cumulative probability of recurrence. Cox regression was used to identify possible risk factors for recurrence.
The incidence of recurrence was 8.7%, with an estimated risk of recurrence over a 15-year period of 16%. Risk factors associated with recurrence were (younger) age (p < 0.02) and the persistence of postoperative pain (p < 0.005). Persistent abdominal pain after surgery was present in 22%. Eighty percent of patients who needed emergency surgery for acute diverticulitis had no manifestation of diverticular disease prior to surgery. In addition, recurrent diverticulitis was not associated with a higher percentage of emergency procedures.
Estimated risk of recurrence is high and abdominal complaints after surgical therapy for diverticulitis are frequent. Younger age and persistence of postoperative symptoms predict recurrent diverticulitis after resection. The clinical implication of these findings needs further investigation. The results of this study support the careful selection of patients for surgery for diverticulitis.
PMCID: PMC2480508  PMID: 18330623
15.  EnROL: A multicentre randomised trial of conventional versus laparoscopic surgery for colorectal cancer within an enhanced recovery programme 
BMC Cancer  2012;12:181.
During the last two decades the use of laparoscopic resection and a multimodal approach known as an enhanced recovery programme, have been major changes in colorectal perioperative care. Clinical outcome improves using laparoscopic surgery to resect colorectal cancer but until recently no multicentre trial evidence had been reported regarding whether the benefits of laparoscopy still exist when open surgery is optimized within an enhanced recovery programme. The EnROL trial (Enhanced Recovery Open versus Laparoscopic) examines the hypothesis that laparoscopic surgery within an enhanced recovery programme will provide superior postoperative outcomes when compared to conventional open resection of colorectal cancer within the same programme.
EnROL is a phase III, multicentre, randomised trial of laparoscopic versus open resection of colon and rectal cancer with blinding of patients and outcome observers to the treatment allocation for the first 7 days post-operatively, or until discharge if earlier. 202 patients will be recruited at approximately 12 UK hospitals and randomised using minimization at a central computer system in a 1:1 ratio. Recruiting surgeons will previously have performed >100 laparoscopic colorectal resections and >50 open total mesorectal excisions to minimize conversion. Eligible patients are those suitable for elective resection using either technique. Excluded patients include: those with acute intestinal obstruction and patients in whom conversion from laparoscopic to open procedure is likely. The primary outcome is physical fatigue as measured by the physical fatigue domain of the multidimensional fatigue inventory 20 (MFI-20) with secondary outcomes including postoperative hospital stay; complications; reoperation and readmission; quality of life indicators; cosmetic assessments; standardized performance indicators; health economic analysis; the other four domains of the MFI-20. Pathological assessment of surgical quality will also be undertaken and compliance with the enhanced recovery programme will be recorded for all patients.
Should this trial demonstrate that laparoscopic surgery confers a significant clinical and/or health economic benefit this will further support the transition to this type of surgery, with implications for the training of surgeons and resource allocation.
Trial registration
PMCID: PMC3441229  PMID: 22591460
Laparoscopy; Colon cancer; Rectal cancer; Enhanced recovery programme; Fast track surgery; Health economics; Cosmetic assessment; Fatigue; Randomised controlled trial; EnROL
16.  Early experience of the compression anastomosis ring (CARTM 27) in left-sided colon resection 
AIM: To evaluate clinical validity of the compression anastomosis ring (CAR™ 27) anastomosis in left-sided colonic resection.
METHODS: A non-randomized prospective data collection was performed for patients undergoing an elective left-sided colon resection, followed by an anastomosis using the CAR™ 27 between November 2009 and January 2011. Eligibility criteria of the use of the CAR™ 27 were anastomoses between the colon and at or above the intraperitoneal rectum. The primary short-term clinical endpoint, rate of anastomotic leakage, and other clinical outcomes, including intra- and postoperative complications, length of operation time and hospital stay, and the ring elimination time were evaluated.
RESULTS: A total of 79 patients (male, 43; median age, 64 years) underwent an elective left-sided colon resection, followed by an anastomosis using the CAR™ 27. Colectomy was performed laparoscopically in 70 patients, in whom two patients converted to open procedure (2.9%). There was no surgical mortality. As an intraoperative complication, total disruption of the anastomosis occurred by premature enforced tension on the proximal segment of the anastomosis in one patient. The ring was removed and another new CAR™ 27 anastomosis was constructed. One patient with sigmoid colon cancer showed postoperative anastomotic leakage after 6 d postoperatively and temporary diverting ileostomy was performed. Exact date of expulsion of the ring could not be recorded because most patients were not aware that the ring had been expelled. No patients manifested clinical symptoms of anastomotic stricture.
CONCLUSION: Short-term evaluation of the CAR™ 27 anastomosis in elective left colectomy suggested it to be a safe and efficacious alternative to the standard hand-sewn or stapling technique.
PMCID: PMC3229627  PMID: 22147979
Compression anastomosis; Colon; Anastomotic leakage; CAR™ 27
17.  Evaluation of current surgical management of acute inflammatory diverticular disease. 
During the period 1980 to 1987, 127 patients were admitted with acute complications of diverticular disease; clinically diagnosed as acute diverticulitis in 86, peritonitis in 33 and colonic obstruction in eight. In those patients diagnosed as acute diverticulitis, conservative treatment was effective in 73 (85%), the other 13 requiring surgery. Of 31 patients, with a clinical diagnosis of peritonitis who underwent operation, 19 (61%) had free purulent or faecal fluid at laparotomy and the remainder had a localised phlegmonous mass. Sigmoid resection was performed in 34 patients and nonexcisional surgery in 18. In the earlier period of the study, there was a preference for the former procedure in patients with peritonitis rather than those with phlegmonous diverticulitis (63% vs 28%), and in the later period of the study, resection was the preferred treatment in both groups (91% vs 93%). The increase in resectional surgery significantly reduced mortality, at completion of treatment, in patients with peritonitis (P less than 0.05) but not in those with phlegmonous diverticulitis. There was an additional benefit of resection in the lower number of procedures per patient (1.5 vs 2.1), a lower median total hospital stay (32 days vs 50.5, P less than 0.01) and a lower wound infection rate (16% vs 32%, P less than 0.01) at the end of treatment. The optimum surgical approach at laparotomy for acutely complicated diverticular disease would therefore appear to be a resectional procedure. Of the patients operated on for 'peritonitis', 39% were found to have a localised diverticular mass/phlegmon.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
PMCID: PMC2499490  PMID: 1929127
18.  Laparoscopic Surgery for Diverticular Disease Complicated by Fistulae 
Elective laparoscopic surgery for recurrent, uncomplicated diverticular disease is considered safe and effective; however, little data exist on complicated cases. We investigated laparoscopic sigmoid resection for diver-ticulitis complicated by fistulae.
We conducted a retrospective review of patients who underwent laparoscopic treatment of enteric fistulae complicating diverticular disease performed by 4 surgeons at the Mount Sinai Medical Center.
From 1994 to 2004, 14 patients underwent elective laparoscopic sigmoid resections for diverticular disease complicated by enteric fistulae. Patients’ mean age was 62 and 4 were female. Multiple fistulae were present in 21%. Types of fistulae included 8 colovesical, 5 enterocolic, 2 colovaginal, 1 colosalpingal, and 1 colocutaneous. All patients successfully underwent sigmoidectomy, and 14% required additional bowel resections. No cases were proximally diverted. Conversion to open was necessary in 36% of cases, all due to dense adhesions and severe inflammation. The mean operative time was 209 minutes, and the mean blood loss was 326 mL. Two (14%) postoperative complications occurred, including one anastomotic bleed and one prolonged ileus. No anastomotic leaks or mortalities occurred. The mean postoperative stay was 6 days.
Laparoscopic management of diverticular disease complicated by fistulae can be performed effectively and safely. The conversion rate is higher than traditionally accepted rates of uncomplicated cases of diver-ticulitis and is associated with severe adhesions and inflammation.
PMCID: PMC3016132  PMID: 16882413
Diverticulitis; Laparoscopic surgery; Fistula
19.  Laparoscopic and open surgery for pheochromocytoma 
BMC Surgery  2001;1:2.
Laparoscopic adrenalectomy is a promising alternative to open surgery although concerns exist in regard to laparoscopic treatment of pheocromocytoma. This report compares the outcome of laparoscopic and conventional (open) resection for pheocromocytoma particular in regard to intraoperative hemodynamic stability and postoperative patient comfort.
Seven patients laparoscopically treated (1997–2000) and nine patients treated by open resection (1990–1996) at the National Hospital (Rikshospitalet), Oslo. Peroperative hemodynamic stability including need of vasoactive drugs was studied. Postoperative analgesic medication, complications and hospital stay were recorded.
No laparoscopic resections were converted to open procedure. Patients laparoscopically treated had fewer hypertensive episodes (median 1 vs. 2) and less need of vasoactive drugs peroperatively than patients conventionally operated. There was no difference in operative time between the two groups (median 110 min vs. 125 min for adrenal pheochromocytoma and 235 vs. 210 min for paraganglioma). Postoperative need of analgesic medication (1 vs. 9 patients) and hospital stay (median 3 vs. 6 days) were significantly reduced in patients laparoscopically operated compared to patients treated by the open technique.
Surgery for pheochromocytoma can be performed laparoscopically with a safety comparable to open resection. However, improved hemodynamic stability peroperatively and less need of postoperative analgesics favour the laparoscopic approach. In experienced hands the laparoscopic technique is concluded to be the method of choice also for pheocromocytoma.
PMCID: PMC57005  PMID: 11580870
20.  Laparoscopic Management of Symptomatic Meckel's Diverticula: a Simple Tangential Stapler Excision 
Meckel's diverticulum was first described about 400 years ago and continues to be a rare congenital disorder. Laparoscopic surgery for Meckel's diverticulum has been described in mostly case reports. We present our series of patients with symptomatic Meckel's diverticulum.
We have treated 12 patients with symptomatic Meckel's diverticulum from 1994 through 2006 at our institution. All the patients presented with features of either appendicitis or peritonitis, some with a vague abdominal mass. Clinical diagnosis of Meckel's diverticulum was made in only 4 patients. Diagnostic laparoscopy confirmed Meckel's diverticulitis in all patients. Laparoscopic stapler resection of the lesions was performed for all patients, tangential excision in 10 and wedge excision in 2.
The incidence of Meckel's diverticulum at our institution is 0.3%. The majority of patients were male children. There were no staple-line leaks in any case. All patients recovered well postoperatively, and the day of discharge was in the range of the fourth to the seventh POD. Heterotopic gastric mucosa was found in the majority of the diverticula. Eight patients were followed up for 24 months, and 4 patients reported for follow-up after 45 months and were found to be symptom-free.
The diagnosis of Meckel's diverticulitis is rarely made preoperatively. Surgical resection is indicated only if the diverticulum is symptomatic or if the base is narrow. Traditionally, open wedge resection (including the anterior wall of the ileum) of the diverticulum is the treatment. We think that a simple tangential stapler resection can also be performed, with good outcome.
Laparoscopy is useful in both diagnosis and treatment. Laparoscopic resection of Meckel's diverticulum is feasible and ideal, especially when performed in specialized centers.
PMCID: PMC3016022  PMID: 18402742
Meckel's diverticulitis; Perforation; Laparoscopy; Endostaplers
21.  Clinical considerations and therapeutic strategy for sigmoid volvulus in the elderly: A study of 33 cases 
AIM: To evaluate different types of treatment for sigmoid volvulus and clarify the role of endoscopic intervention versus surgery.
METHODS: A retrospective review of the clinical presentation and imaging characteristics of 33 sigmoid volvulus patients was presented, as well as their diagnosis and treatment, in combination with a literature review.
RESULTS: In 26 patients endoscopic detorsion was achieved after the first attempt and one patient died because of uncontrollable sepsis despite prompt operative treatment. Seven patients had unsuccessful endoscopic derotation and were operated on. On two patients with gangrenous sigmoid, Hartmann’s procedure was performed. In five patients with viable colon, a sigmoid resection and primary anastomosis was carried out. Three patients had a lavage “on table” prior to anastomosis, while in the remaining 2 patients a diverting stoma was performed according to the procedure of the first author. Ten patients were operated on during their first hospital stay (3 to 8 d after the deflation). All patients had viable colon; 7 patients had a sigmoid resection and primary anastomosis, 2 patients had sigmoidopexy and one patient underwent a near-total colectomy. Two patients (sigmoidectomy-sigmoidopexy) had recurrences of volvulus 43 and 28 mo after the initial surgery. Among 15 patients who were discharged from the hospital after non-operative deflation, 3 patients were lost to follow-up. Of the remaining 12 patients, 5 had a recurrence of volvulus at a time in between 23 d and 14 mo. All the five patients had been operated on and in four a gangrenous sigmoid was found. Three patients died during the 30 d postoperative course. The remaining seven patients were admitted to our department for elective surgery. In these patients, 2 subtotal colectomies, 3 sigmoid resections and 2 sigmoidopexies were carried out. One patient with subtotal colectomy died. Taken together of the results, it is evident that after 17 elective operations we had only one death (5.9%), whereas after 15 emergency operations 6 patients died, which means a mortality rate of 40%.
CONCLUSION: Although sigmoid volvulus causing intestinal obstruction is frequently successfully encountered by endoscopic decompression, however, the principal therapy of this condition is surgery. Only occasionally in patients with advanced age, lack of bowel symptoms and multiple co-morbidities might surgical repair not be considered.
PMCID: PMC4065930  PMID: 17352024
Volvulus; Celiotomy; Large bowel obstruction; Decompression; Sigmoidectomy
22.  A systematic review of high-fibre dietary therapy in diverticular disease 
The exact pathogenesis of diverticular disease of the sigmoid colon is not well established. However, the hypothesis that a low-fibre diet may result in diverticulosis and a high-fibre diet will prevent symptoms or complications of diverticular disease is widely accepted. The aim of this review is to assess whether a high-fibre diet can improve symptoms and/or prevent complications of diverticular disease of the sigmoid colon and/or prevent recurrent diverticulitis after a primary episode.
Clinical studies were eligible for inclusion if they assessed the treatment of diverticular disease or the prevention of recurrent diverticulitis with a high-fibre diet. The following exclusion criteria were used for study selection: studies without comparison of the patient group with a control group.
No studies concerning prevention of recurrent diverticulitis with a high-fibre diet met our inclusion criteria. Three randomised controlled trials (RCT) and one case–control study were included in this systematic review. One RCT of moderate quality showed no difference in the primary endpoints. A second RCT of moderate quality and the case–control study found a significant difference in favour of a high-fibre diet in the treatment of symptomatic diverticular disease. The third RCT of moderate quality found a significant difference in favour of methylcellulose (fibre supplement). This study also showed a placebo effect.
High-quality evidence for a high-fibre diet in the treatment of diverticular disease is lacking, and most recommendations are based on inconsistent level 2 and mostly level 3 evidence. Nevertheless, high-fibre diet is still recommended in several guidelines.
PMCID: PMC3308000  PMID: 21922199
High-fibre dietary therapy; Diverticular disease; Sigmoid colon
23.  New and emerging treatments for the prevention of recurrent diverticulitis 
Sigmoid diverticulitis is a common benign condition which carries significant morbidity and socioeconomic burden. This article describes the management of sigmoid diverticulitis with a focus on indications for surgical intervention. The mainstay of management of uncomplicated diverticulitis is broad-spectrum antibiotic therapy. The old surgical dictum that two episodes of sigmoid diverticulitis warranted surgical intervention has been challenged by recently published data. Surgery for diverticulitis thus needs to be tailored to suit individual presentation; patients presenting with recurrent diverticulitis, severe symptoms or debilitating disease impacting patient’s quality of life mandate surgical intervention. Complicated diverticular disease typically prompts intervention to resect a diseased, strictured sigmoid colon, fistulizing disease, or a life-threatening colonic perforation. Laterally, minimally invasive surgery has been utilized in the management of this disease and recent data suggests that localized colonic perforation may be managed by laparoscopic peritoneal lavage, without resection. This review focuses discussion on available evidence for contemporary surgical and nonoperative management of diverticulitis.
PMCID: PMC3190288  PMID: 22016581
sigmoid diverticulitis; colon; laparoscopic peritoneal lavage; surgical intervention
24.  Could laparoscopic colon and rectal surgery become the standard of care? A review and experience with 750 procedures 
Canadian Journal of Surgery  2003;46(6):432-440.
The benefits of the laparoscopic approach to colon and rectal surgery do not seem as great as for other laparoscopic procedures. To study this further we decided to review the current literature and the 10-year experience of a surgical group from university teaching hospitals in Montréal, Québec and Toronto in performing laparoscopic colon and rectal surgery.
The prospectively designed case series comprised all patients having laparoscopic colon and rectal surgery. The procedures were carried out by a group of 4 surgeons between April 1991 and November 2001. We noted intraoperative complications, any conversions to open surgery, operating time, postoperative complications and postoperative length of hospital stay.
The group attempted 750 laparoscopic colon and rectal procedures of which 669 were completed laparoscopically. Malignant disease was the indication for surgery in 49.6% of cases. Right hemicolectomy and sigmoid colectomy accounted for 54.5% of procedures performed. Intraoperative complications occurred in 8.3%, with 29.0% of these resulting in conversion to open surgery. The overall rate of conversion to open surgery was 10.8%, most commonly for oncologic concerns. Median operating time was 175 minutes for all procedures. Postoperative complications occurred in 27.5% of procedures completed laparoscopically but were mostly minor wound complications. Pulmonary complications occurred in only 1.0%. The anastomotic leak rate was 2.5%. The early reoperation rate was 2.4%. Postoperative mortality was 2.2%. No port site metastases have yet been detected. The median postoperative length of stay was 5 days.
The clinical outcomes of laparoscopic colon and rectal surgery in this 10-year experience are consistent with numerous cohort studies and randomized clinical trials. Laparoscopic colon and rectal surgery in the hands of well-trained surgeons can be performed safely with short hospital stay, low analgesic requirements and acceptable complication rates compared with historical controls and other reports in the literature. Evidence from published randomized clinical trials is emerging that under these conditions laparoscopic resection represents the better treatment option for most benign conditions, but concerns regarding its appropriateness for malignant disease are still to be resolved.
PMCID: PMC3211775  PMID: 14680350
25.  Laparoscopic TME in rectal cancer – electronic supplementary: op-video 
Langenbeck's Archives of Surgery  2010;395(2):181-183.
Laparoscopic total mesorectal excision (TME) for rectal cancer has been proved in various studies. The minimal invasive procedure is feasible and safe which was demonstrated in many studies. However, the results of prospective, randomized studies providing valuable evidence are still not available. Compared to conventional surgery, the laparoscopic technique has short-term advantages including less pain, shorter duration of postoperative ileus, less fatigue, better pulmonary function, and less blood loss (Leung et al., Lancet 363:1187–1192, 2004; Braga et al., Dis Colon Rectum 48:217–223, 2005; Jayne et al., J Clin Oncol 25:3061–3068, 2007; Agha et al., Surg Endosc 22:2229–2237, 2008).
The autonomic nerve sparing TME technique is the gold standard in rectal cancer resection even in conventional or laparoscopic procedure. With regard of the oncological dimension, the laparoscopic TME technique is not different compared to the open procedure. However, a standardized laparoscopic step-by-step procedure may simplify the operation and can reduce operation time.
There are no studies available which compare different types of TME procedures. Most surgeons start the operation left laterally mobilizing the sigmoid colon first. In the laparoscopic technique, we recommend the medial to lateral approach starting the operation at the right side of the rectum and sigmoid colon. A nerve sparing TME technique can be performed easier, and the identification of the left ureter may be simplified. After multiple workshops and extensive discussion with national and international experts, we developed a standardized laparoscopic “10 step TME procedure.” Reviewing the results of laparoscopic TME the studies do not allow firm conclusions as to the questions of whether the safety and efficacy of laparoscopic TME is equal or superior to open TME (Breukink et al. 2006). Actually, we are waiting for large prospective randomized studies comparing laparoscopic TME with the traditional open procedure (Bonjer et al., Dan Med Bull 56:89–91, 2009).
Laparoscopic TME appears to have clinically measurable short-term advantages in patients with primary resectable rectal cancer based on evidence mainly from nonrandomized studies (Breukink et al. 5). In nearly all published studies, the efficacy and technical feasibility of laparoscopic surgery for rectal cancer could be demonstrated regarding perioperative morbidity and oncological outcome. A standardized laparoscopic TME technique can be strongly recommended.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00423-009-0556-y) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC2814039  PMID: 20076969
Laparoscopic rectal resection; Laparoscopic TME; Rectal cancer; Operation technique; Oncological outcome; Video rectal resection

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