Diverticulosis, diverticular bleeding, and diverticulitis are all related to the development of small sacs in the colon wall. When these sacs or pockets form in the bowel, it is called diverticulosis and is very common, especially in people over 60. Most people with diverticulosis have no symptoms. However, when symptoms occur they may include rectal bleeding, or infection in the sac that is known as diverticulitis. When diverticulitis occurs, the pockets in the bowel wall become inflamed and infected and cause bowel changes, diarrhea, painful cramps, abdominal pain, or fever.
Treatment for diverticular disease depends on the severity of symptoms and usually can be treated with increased dietary fiber and water intake. For diverticulitis, the mainstay is antibiotics, liquids, and pain management. Once the flare has resolved, a colonoscopy may be required to exclude colon cancer or other problems. If diverticulitis becomes recurrent or results in significant illness, surgery may be necessary in order to remove the diseased part of the colon and alleviate painful symptoms and infection. This surgery, a partial colectomy, is performed under general anesthesia and is usually done with a laparoscopic approach that significantly decreases hospital stay and post-operative pain. After surgery, most people are back to work in three to four weeks.
If you are suffering from diverticular disease, contact TOA Surgical Specialists today to make an appointment with one of our specialists to discuss treatment options.
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