Diverticular Disease – North Houston and West Houston, TX

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About Diverticular Disease

Sometimes, patients can receive a diagnosis for a condition they never even considered having. This is because some diseases do not result in any noticeable or painful side effects. Diverticular disease, one of the more common colorectal disorders that affect men and women every year, can often go undetected due to its lack of signs or symptoms. This condition is characterized by the development of small bulges or sacs (diverticula) along the wall of the colon, which can range in size from that of a small pea to much larger. While the cause for diverticular disease is currently unknown, many professionals and specialists in the field theorize that it can manifest when a high amount of pressure is put on the colon, like when straining to make a bowel movement. Since the majority of patients with diverticular disease don't notice any pain or other signs, the disease may go undetected. Thankfully, our experienced team of board-certified surgeons at Houston Colon and Rectal Surgery perform comprehensive examinations for patients who visit our North Houston and West Houston, TX offices. This makes the diagnostic process of nearly all colorectal conditions more streamlined, accurate, and all-inclusive.

TYPES OF DIVERTICULAR DISEASE

There are two notable forms of diverticular disease:

  • Diverticulosis occurs when diverticula (small bulges) erupt along the large intestine, but the patient experiences no complications or issues as a result. This form of the disease can later lead to diverticulitis, perforation (hole formation), narrowing of the colon walls (stricture), fistulas, and anal bleeding if not diagnosed and treated.
  • Diverticulitis is an inflammatory condition of the colon that can occur when holes develop in the sacs along the colon. This may cause signs and complications to arise, which is referred to as complicated diverticulitis.

Signs and Symptoms

Many patients with a form of diverticular disease will not notice any particular symptoms of the disease. However, those with a more severe manifestation of the condition may experience certain warning signs, including rectal bleeding and painful cramps in the lower abdomen. While the cause of diverticular disease is currently unknown, people with chronic constipation may be at an increased risk to develop the condition due to the excess pressure put on the colon when trying to make bowel movements. If you begin to notice abnormalities with your bowel movements or other issues, we encourage you to contact Houston Colon and Rectal Surgery at your earliest convenience.

What to Expect

Since symptoms from diverticular disease do not occur until the condition has progressed to the stage of diverticulitis, the disease can go undetected for quite some time. When you arrive at our office experiencing complications, we will perform a thorough physical assessment of your health by listening to your abdomen and administering a colonoscopy. Diverticular disease is most often detected through screening tests (such as colonoscopies or endoscopies), CT scans, or x-rays of the abdomen and pelvic regions. Many patients who receive a diverticulosis or diverticulitis diagnosis are those who were initially receiving diagnostics for unrelated reasons. Our colorectal specialists will first rule out any other possibilities before diagnosing you with diverticular disease. From there, we will work with you to assess the severity of your condition and craft a personalized treatment plan to restore your intestinal health.

Treatment Options

Many people with diverticular disease exhibit no symptoms, which can make early diagnosis difficult. Even though the particular cause of the condition is currently unknown, many professionals believe that it can be brought on by high levels of pressure within the colon. Pressure is put on the colon when one strains to pass stool, which can occur with constipation. One preventive measure is to adopt a diet that's high in fiber, fruits, and vegetables and low in red meat consumption. Many cases can be treated with antibiotics, which can be taken orally or intravenously. If you have an abscess, it will need to be drained.

Surgery may also be a viable option for some. You may require a surgical solution if you have peritonitis (caused by a rupture in the colon, causing pus or stool to leak throughout the abdomen), an abscess that cannot be drained, a severe case that has not responded to antibiotics, autoimmune disorders, colon stricture, fistulas, or a history of diverticular disease. The surgery you may receive for treatment will depend on your unique situation. Most surgical solutions for diverticulitis involve the removal of the affected portion of the large intestine.

Achieve Proper Colon Health

At Houston Colon and Rectal Surgery, our skilled surgeons are trained to identify and treat a range of colorectal concerns ranging from the common to the complex. Diverticular disease can be especially difficult to diagnose within a proper timeframe since the condition does not typically cause symptoms to manifest. However, patients who are proactive and stay on top of their digestive health by receiving regular screenings will have the upper hand when it comes to the early detection of certain issues. Contact one of our North Houston or West Houston, TX offices to schedule a consultation and receive a thorough evaluation of your colorectal wellness.

*Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary from person to person. Images may contain models.