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Long-term outcome of patients with epiphrenic diverticula: A retrospective single-center analysis over 20 years

Published:October 03, 2022DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.surg.2022.08.028

      Abstract

      Background

      Epiphrenic diverticula are extremely rare. Evidence-based treatment recommendations are scarce. The primary study outcome was to examine whether surgical treatment in patients with epiphrenic diverticula leads to improved quality of life by outweighing the perioperative risks compared with conservative treatment.

      Methods

      All patients with an epiphrenic diverticula at our institution between 2001 and 2021 were retrospectively reviewed and followed-up using a specific questionnaire, including the Eating Assessment Tool, and Gastrointestinal Quality of Life Index quality-of-life scores.

      Results

      Of 51 patients with epiphrenic diverticula, 28 had surgery and 23 had conservative treatment. The most common symptom at presentation was dysphagia. Although 16 patients underwent open surgery, 12 had minimally invasive procedures. A prophylactic stent was applied intraoperatively in 6 patients. The morbidity rate in surgically treated patients was 50% (14/28), with a leakage in 43% (12/28; 33% for prophylactic stenting). Mortality was nil. At a median follow-up of 139 months, patients with surgery had better outcomes than those without (ie, less dysphagia [6/12 vs 11/12; P = .025]), a less likely pathologic Eating Assessment Tool score (4/12 vs 9/12; P = .041), and a nonsignificant better Gastrointestinal Quality of Life Index score (122 vs 112; P = .929). The rate of recurrence/progression of symptoms was significantly higher for conservatively treated patients (11/18 vs 6/27 for any surgery; P = .008), as well as for patients with minimally invasive procedure (5/12 vs 1/15 for open surgery; P = .030).

      Conclusion

      Despite the high perioperative morbidity, surgical treatment of epiphrenic diverticula leads to an improved long-term quality of life and lower recurrence rates than conservative treatment.
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