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Laparoscopy May Be Safest Option for Diverticular Disease

Overall laparoscopic complication rate of 11 percent is half the rate of open surgery

FRIDAY, June 18 (HealthDay News) -- Laparoscopic colon resection for diverticular disease results in fewer complications, lower postoperative mortality, and shorter hospital stays than open surgery for the condition, according to research published in the June issue of Gastroenterology.

Andrew J. Russ, M.D., of the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health in Madison, and colleagues analyzed data from the National Surgical Quality Initiative Program for 6,970 patients who had elective surgery for diverticular disease during 2005 to 2008. The patients were grouped by open or laparoscopic surgery.

Following adjustment for American Society of Anesthesiology class, probability of morbidity, and ostomy creation, overall complication rates were 21.7 percent for open surgery and 11.0 percent for laparoscopic procedures. Overall complications included superficial surgical site infection, deep incisional surgical site infection, organ space surgical site infection, pulmonary embolism, sepsis, septic shock, and deep venous thrombosis/thrombophlebitis. The researchers found that 30-day postoperative mortality was also lower for laparoscopic procedures compared to open surgery (0.4 versus 1.1 percent), and hospital length-of-stay was shorter (4.8 versus 7.8 days).

"We have presented compelling evidence that the use of laparoscopy for elective colon surgery should be the recommended surgical approach for the treatment of diverticular disease," the authors write.

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