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The Surgical Management of Diverticulitis of the Colon with Particular Reference to Rehabilitation

AMA Arch Surg. 1960;80(4):646-649. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1960.01290210114023.
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Nearly two decades ago Wayne Babcock succinctly stated: "Diverticulitis of the colon is the one disease of an intra-abdominal organ characterized by a tendency to persist or relapse with perforation, peritonitis, abscess, fistula or intestinal obstruction." He championed resection rather than medical measures and delayed operation as well as palliative surgery. The intervening years have evidenced clearly the merit of this philosophy.

The purpose of this discussion is to record our experience with patients suffering from the effects of diverticulitis and to emphasize the fact that not only is surgery indicated in the presence of complications but that interval resection is a justifiable procedure since ultraconservatism leads to disaster.

Material and Data  Our experience embraces 243 patients with diverticulitis of the colon during the period of 18 years and 9 months, from September, 1940, to May, 1959; 132 were females and 111 were males.

Operative Data.  —Of the 243 patients,


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