Emergency surgery for jejunal diverticulosis: our experience and review of literature


  • K.-K. Tan MRCS, MMed; J. Z. Liu MBBS; C.-K. Ho FRCS, FRCSEd, FAMS.

Dr Ker-Kan Tan, Department of General Surgery, Tan Tock Seng Hospital, 11 Jalan Tan Tock Seng, Singapore 308433, Singapore. Email: kerkan@gmail.com


Background:  Jejunal diverticulosis is a rare entity and is often asymptomatic. However, some of its complications may require acute surgical intervention. This study was performed to evaluate the presentation and outcome of patients who underwent urgent surgery for complicated jejunal diverticulosis.

Methods:  A retrospective review of all patients who underwent emergency surgery for complicated jejunal diverticulosis from November 2005 to December 2008 was performed.

Results:  Six cases of complicated jejunal diverticulosis required urgent surgery during the study period. Three patients presented with acute abdomen from perforated jejunal diverticulum. Preoperative computed tomographic (CT) scans were useful in localizing the source of sepsis. One patient died from the subsequent complications. The other three patients presented with massive lower gastrointestinal haemorrhage for which CT angiography was able to localize the source of haemorrhage in two of them. Small bowel resection was then performed and all three were discharged well eventually.

Conclusion:  Though rare, jejunal diverticulosis can present with several life-threatening complications that mandates immediate surgery. While the surgical procedure may be technically simple, achieving the accurate preoperative diagnosis is often fraught with challenges. CT scan could prove invaluable in the management if the situation permits.