[Present role of Hartmann's operation. Apropos of 50 cases].J Chir (Paris). 1983 Mar; 120(3):173-8.JC
Of 50 Hartmann's operation conducted, 22 (including 19 for sigmoid diverticulitis) were for non-neoplastic lesions. Emergency surgery was necessary for lesions complicated by perforation, abscess, or occlusion in 34 cases, the indications for operation being local and general conditions, where immediate re-establishment of colorectal continuity was not possible, in the other 16 patients. Overall mortality was 22 p. cent, being much higher in cancer cases (32 p. cent) than in those with sigmoiditis (52 p. cent). Postoperative morbidity was marked, and was dominated by parietal complications and those due to the colostomy, and by thromboembolic complications particularly in the sigmoiditis cases. Secondary re-establishment of intestinal continuity was possible in 19 patients (6 cancers and 13 benign lesions) with a single postoperative death. Whereas the employ of Hartmann's operation in cancer would appear to be justified only in urgent complicated cases it is certainly a valid procedure in the acute phase of sigmoid diverticulitis, where its mortality is relatively low. Current mechanical suturing techniques, by facilitating secondary re-establishment of continuity, reduce the classical inconveniences of Hartmann's operation, suggesting its wider use for the emergency treatment of complicated lesions of the colon.