Aggressive resection is indicated for cecal diverticulitis

Jen Feng Fang, Ray Jade Chen, Being Chuan Lin, Yu Bau Hsu, Jung Liang Kao, Miin Fu Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Because of the difficulties in preoperative diagnosis and controversies in the management, cecal diverticulitis has received much discussion in the literature. There, however, are still many questions that remain unanswered. Methods: During a 5-year period, 112 patients with a clinical diagnosis of cecal diverticulitis were treated. Twenty-seven patients were excluded because of uncertainty in diagnosis or incomplete data collection, leaving 85 patients as the study group. The diagnosis of cecal diverticulitis was made by pathology, surgical findings, or image study. Results: Nonoperative management was applied to 18 patients initially. Three patients had recurrent diverticulitis during follow up. These patients responded satisfactorily to another course of medical treatment. Laparotomy was performed in 67 patients. Acute appendicitis was the preoperative diagnosis in 47 patients (70%). Of the other 20 patients, 6 received operation because of repeated attack of diverticulitis, 7 had preoperative computed tomography (CT) diagnosis of cecal diverticulitis with perforation, 5 had preoperative diagnosis of cecal tumor, and 2 had medical treatment failure. All these 20 patients received right hemicolectomy. In the 47 patients with a preoperative diagnosis of acute appendicitis, 24 received appendectomy, 9 received diverticulectomy, and 14 received right hemicolectomy. Overall, 34 patients received right hemicolectomy, 9 received diverticulectomy, and 24 received appendectomy only. In the right hemicolectomy group, there were 2 deaths with underlying diseases and 5 complications. In the appendectomy group, there was no postoperative mortality, but in 7 patients recurrent diverticulitis developed. Three of them required right hemicolectomy. Conclusions: The natural history of cecal diverticulitis varies from benign and self-limiting to fulminant in the oriental population. Less than 40% (32 of 85) of patients were successfully treated with conservative methods initially and had no recurrence during the follow-up period. We recommend aggressive surgical resection for patients with a definite diagnosis. Adjuvant appendectomy without resection of the lesion should be considered only in uncomplicated patients whose diagnosis is in doubt.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)135-140
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Surgery
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Appendicitis
  • Cecal diverticulitis
  • Colectomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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