Management of incidentally discovered unaffected Meckel’s diverticulum – a review
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Meckel’s diverticulum is the most common congenital malformation of the gastrointestinal tract, with its incidence estimated at 1-4% in the general population. In most cases Meckel’s diverticulum is a latent, asymptomatic anomaly, but in some cases, it may lead to complications such as intestinal obstruction, bleeding and inflammation. The literature provides no precise recommendations for the management of accidentally diagnosed, unaffected Meckel’s diverticulum. The aim of this study was to review the literature on the subject to determine the current state of knowledge. Based on an analysis of 17 papers, the following criteria (risk factors) were identified justifying ‘preventive’ resection of an accidentally found, unaffected Meckel’s diverticulum: age <50 years, male gender, length >2 cm, macroscopic abnormalities suggesting the presence of ectopic gastric mucosa as well as narrow neck of the diverticulum. When the criteria are not met, there is a minimal lifetime risk of complications. Leaving diverticulum intact is recommended in cases of peritonitis, major abdominal trauma and at older age. Nevertheless, indications or contraindications for resection are relative, and surgeons are safe to make their decision depending on individual patient’s situation.
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