What is diverticulitis?

Diverticula are outpouches in the wall of the intestines. They commonly occur in the colon particularly the left colon. When these diverticula get inflamed, it is call diverticulitis.

Diverticulitis can be either uncomplicated or complicated. Complicated diverticulitis is a severe form of diverticulitis that has resulted in one of the following: abscess formation, bowel perforation, stricture (narrowing of the bowel), or fistula (abnormal connection of the bowel to another organ such as the bladder).

Who does it affect?

Common risk factors for diverticulitis include;

a. Age – the incidence of diverticulitis increases with age

b. Low fiber diet

c. Smoking

How does it present?

The most common symptom of diverticulitis is abdominal pain. Since the most common site affected is the left colon, most people present with left sided abdominal pains.

Other symptoms generally depend on the severity of diverticulitis and the presence of complications. Such symptoms include, fevers, nausea, vomiting, and change in bowel habits.

What are the treatment options?

Treatment depends on the degree of severity and the presence of complications.

For uncomplicated diverticulitis, the main stay of treatment is bowel rest and antibiotics. Most patients improve with this. Following resolution, it is recommended that patients have a colonoscopy if they had not had one recently.

For complicated diverticulitis, hospitalization and surgery may be required. Definitive management will depend on the type of complication present.

How can we help?

At The Woodlands Colon and Rectal Associates, we manage both uncomplicated and complicated diverticulitis. When surgery is needed, our preference is to use minimally invasive approaches (laparoscopic or robotic) if appropriate in the management of this condition.

Contact us to schedule an appointment. We look forward to being of help to you.
  • (832) 663-0037
  • FAX: (281) 962-3033
  • The Woodlands Office: 920 Medical Plaza Drive, Suite 330, The Woodlands, TX 77380.