Recurrent diverticulitis after elective surgery

Int J Colorectal Dis. 2022 Oct;37(10):2149-2155. doi: 10.1007/s00384-022-04248-x. Epub 2022 Sep 1.


Purpose: Elective sigmoid resection is proposed as a treatment for symptomatic diverticular disease for the possible improvement in quality of life achievable. Albeit encouraging results have been reported, recurrent diverticulitis is still a concern deeply affecting quality of life. The aim of this study is to determine the rate of recurrent diverticulitis after elective sigmoid resection and to look for possible perioperative risk factors.

Methods: Patients who underwent elective resection for DD with at least a 3-year follow-up were included. Postoperative recurrence was defined as left-sided or lower abdominal pain, with CT scan-confirmed findings of diverticulitis.

Results: Twenty of 232 (8.6%) patients developed CT-proven recurrent diverticulitis after elective surgery. All the 20 recurrent diverticulitis were uncomplicated and did not need surgery. Eighty-five percent of the recurrences occurred in patients with a preoperative diagnosis of uncomplicated DD, 70% in patients who had at least 4 episodes of diverticulitis, and 70% in patients with a history of diverticulitis extended to the descending colon. Univariate analysis showed that recurrence was associated with diverticulitis of the sigmoid and of the descending colon (p = 0.04), with a preoperative diagnosis of IBS (p = 0.04) and with a longer than 5 years diverticular disease (p = 0.03). Multivariate analysis was not able to determine risks factors for recurrence.

Conclusion: Our study showed that patients with a preoperative diagnosis of IBS, diverticulitis involving the descending colon, and a long-lasting disease are more likely to have recurrent diverticulitis. However, these variables could not be assumed as risk factors.

Keywords: Colon surgery; Diverticulitis; Elective surgery; Recurrence.

MeSH terms

  • Colon, Sigmoid / diagnostic imaging
  • Colon, Sigmoid / surgery
  • Diverticular Diseases* / surgery
  • Diverticulitis* / complications
  • Diverticulitis* / diagnostic imaging
  • Diverticulitis* / surgery
  • Diverticulitis, Colonic* / complications
  • Diverticulitis, Colonic* / diagnostic imaging
  • Diverticulitis, Colonic* / surgery
  • Elective Surgical Procedures / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome* / complications
  • Quality of Life
  • Recurrence