Considerations for Hartmann’s reversal and Hartmann’s reversal outcomes—a multicenter study

Nir Horesh, Yonatan Lessing, Yaron Rudnicki, Ilan Kent, Haguy Kammar, Almog Ben-Yaacov, Yael Dreznik, Hagit Tulchinsky, Shmuel Avital, Eli Mavor, Nir Wasserberg, Hanoch Kashtan, Joseph M. Klausner, Mordechai Gutman, Oded Zmora

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Hartmann’s procedure is commonly practiced in emergent cases with the restoration of bowel continuity planned at a second stage. This study assessed the rate of restorations following Hartmann’s procedure and evaluated factors affecting decision-making. Methods: Data on patient demographics, comorbidities, causes for Hartmann’s procedure, reversal rate, and complications were collected in a multicenter retrospective cohort study of patients who underwent Hartmann’s procedure in five medical centers. Results: Six hundred forty patients underwent Hartmann’s procedure for diverticular disease (36.1%), obstructing malignancy (31.8%), benign obstruction (5%), and other reasons (23.1%). Overall, 260 (40.6%) patients underwent subsequent restoration of bowel continuity. One hundred twenty-one (46.5%) patients had post-reversal complications, with an average Clavien-Dindo score of 1.4 and a mortality rate of 0.77%. Decision to avoid reversal was mostly related to comorbidities (49.7%) and metastatic disease (21.6%). Factors associated with the decision to restore bowel continuity included male gender (P = 0.02), patient age (62.3 years in Hartmann’s reversal patients vs 73.5 years in non-reversal patients; P < 0.0001), number of comorbidities (1.1 vs 1.58; P < 0.001), average Charlson score (1.93 vs 3.44; P < 0.001), and a neoplastic etiology (P < 0.0001). A sub-analysis excluding all patients who died in the 30 days following Hartmann’s procedure showed similar factors associated with ostomy closure. Conclusion: Many patients do not have restoration of bowel continuity after undergoing Hartmann’s procedure. Hartmann’s reversal is associated with a significant postoperative morbidity. Surgeons and patients should be aware of the possibility that the colostomy might become permanent.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1577-1582
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Colorectal Disease
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2017


  • Bowel continuity
  • Hartmann’s reversal
  • Ostomy closure


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