Author(s): Lane JS, Sarkar R, Schmit PJ, Chandler CF, Thompson JE Jr
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Cecal diverticulitis is a rare condition in the Western world, with a higher incidence in people of Asian descent. The treatment for cecal diverticulitis has ranged from expectant medical management, which is similar to uncomplicated left-sided diverticulitis, to right hemicolectomy. STUDY DESIGN: A retrospective chart review was conducted of the 49 patients treated for cecal diverticulitis at Olive View-UCLA Medical Center from 1976 to 1998. This was the largest-ever single-institution review of cecal diverticulitis reported in the mainland US. RESULTS: The clinical presentation was similar to that of acute appendicitis, with abdominal pain, low-grade fever, nausea/vomiting, abdominal tenderness, and leukocytosis. Operations performed included right hemicolectomy in 39 patients (80\%), diverticulectomy in 7 patients (14\%), and appendectomy with drainage of intraabdominal abscess in 3 patients (6\%). Of the 7 patients who had diverticulectomy, 1 required right hemicolectomy at 6 months followup for continued symptoms. Of the three patients who underwent appendectomy with drainage, all required subsequent hemicolectomy for continued inflammation. Of the 39 patients who received immediate hemicolectomies, there were complications in 7 (18\%), with no mortality. CONCLUSIONS: We endorse an aggressive operative approach to the management of cecal diverticulitis, with the resection of all clinically apparent disease at the time of the initial operation. In cases of a solitary diverticulum, we recommend the use of diverticulectomy when it is technically feasible. When confronted with multiple diverticuli and cecal phlegmon, or when neoplastic disease cannot be excluded, we advocate immediate right hemicolectomy. This procedure can be safely performed in the unprepared colon with few complications. Excisional treatment for cecal diverticulitis prevents the recurrence of symptoms, which may be more common in the Western population.
This article was published in J Am Coll Surg
and referenced in Journal of Gastrointestinal & Digestive System