Emergency management of complicated jejunal diverticulosis

Kevin N. Johnson, Grant T. Fankhauser, Alyssa B. Chapital, Marianne V. Merritt, Daniel J. Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Jejunal diverticulosis is a rare condition that is usually found incidentally. It is most often asymptomatic but presenting symptoms are nonspecific and include abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhea, malabsorption, bleeding, obstruction, and/or perforation. A retrospective review of medical records between 1999 and 2012 at a tertiary referral center was conducted to identify patients requiring emergency management of complicated jejunal diverticulosis. Complications were defined as those that presented with inflammation, bleeding, obstruction, or perforation. Eighteen patients presented to the emergency department with acute complications of jejunal diverticulosis. Ages ranged from 47 to 86 years (mean, 72 years). Seven patients presented with evidence of free bowel perforation. Six had either diverticulitis or a contained perforation. The remaining five were found to have gastrointestinal bleeding. Fourteen of the patients underwent surgical management. Four patients were successfully managed nonoperatively. As a result of the variety of presentations, complications of jejunal diverticulosis present a diagnostic and therapeutic challenge for the acute care surgeon. Although nonoperative management can be successful, most patients should undergo surgical intervention. Traditional management dictates laparotomy and segmental jejunal resection. Diverticulectomy is not recommended as a result of the risk of staple line breakdown. The entire involved portion of jejunum should be resected when bowel length permits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)600-603
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Surgeon
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2014
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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