What is diverticulitis?

Diverticula are pockets or pouches that develop through weakness in the wall of the colon. Inflammation of these Diverticula is called diverticulitis.

What are the symptoms of diverticulitis?

Commonest symptom of diverticulitis is pain. It is usually located in the left lower abdomen. Other symptoms include constipation, diarrhea, fever or rectal bleeding. Occasionally diverticulitis can be severe and result in perforation of the colon. This is a life threatening emergency requiring immediate surgery.

What is the cause of diverticular disease?

Lack of fiber in diet increases the pressure within the colon and results in development of the Diverticula.

How is diverticular disease treated?

Increasing the amount of fibber in diet, stool softeners and drinking plenty of water helps. In more severe cases of diverticulitis antibiotics, bowel rest and hospitalization is necessary. In some severe cases an emergency operation may be required

When is surgery needed and who performs this kind of surgery?

Surgery is required for recurrent episodes, complications or severe attacks when there is little or no response to antibiotics. During surgery the diseased part of the colon is removed and the remaining parts are joined together. These days surgery can be performed with minimally invasive techniques thereby ensuring minimal pain and quicker recovery. These complex operations are best performed by Board certified colon and rectal surgeons. Colon and rectal surgeons are experts in the treatment of diseases of the colon & rectum.

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