Laparoscopic peritoneal lavage (LPL) has been proposed as an alternative, less invasive technique in the treatment of acute perforated sigmoid diverticulitis (APSD). The aim of this meta-analysis is to compare the effectiveness of LPL versus surgical resection (SR) in terms of morbidity and mortality in the management of APSD.
A comprehensive search was conducted for randomised controlled trials (RCTs) comparing LPL versus SR in the treatment of APSD. The end points included peri-operative mortality, severe adverse events, overall mortality, post-operative abscess, percutaneous reinterventions, reoperation, operative time, postoperative stay, and readmissions.
Three RCTs with a total of 372 patients, randomised to either LPL or SR were included. There was no significant difference in peri-operative mortality between LPL and SR (OR 1.356, 95% CI 0.365 to 5.032, p = 0.649), or serious adverse events (OR = 1.866, 95% CI = 0.680 to 5.120, p = 0.226). The LPL required significantly less time to complete than SR (WMD = -72.105, 95% CI = -88.335 to -55.876, p < 0.0001). The LPL group was associated with a significantly higher rate of postoperative abscess formation (OR = 4.121, 95% CI = 1.890 to 8.986, p = 0.0004) and subsequent percutaneous interventions (OR = 5.414, 95% CI 1.618 to 18.118, p = 0.006).
Laparoscopic peritoneal lavage is a safe and quick alternative in the management of APSD. In comparison to SR, LPL results in higher rates of postoperative abscess formation requiring more percutaneous drainage interventions without any difference in perioperative mortality and serious morbidity.