Impact of early or delayed elective resection in complicated diverticulitis

Research output: Contribution to journalResearch articleContributedpeer-review


  • Kai Bachmann - , University Hospital Hamburg Eppendorf (Author)
  • Geeske Krause - (Author)
  • Tamina Rawnaq - (Author)
  • Lena Tomkotter - (Author)
  • Yogesh Vashist - (Author)
  • Shanly Shahmiri - (Author)
  • Jakob R Izbicki - (Author)
  • Maximilian Bockhorn - (Author)


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.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5274-9
Number of pages6
JournalWorld Journal of Gastroenterology
Issue number48
Publication statusPublished - 28 Dec 2011
Externally publishedYes

External IDs

PubMedCentral PMC3247691
Scopus 84455162006



  • Aged, Anti-Bacterial Agents/therapeutic use, Colectomy/methods, Colon, Sigmoid/surgery, Diverticulitis, Colonic/drug therapy, Elective Surgical Procedures/economics, Female, Hospitalization, Humans, Length of Stay, Male, Middle Aged, Postoperative Complications, Severity of Illness Index, Time Factors, Treatment Outcome