Diverticular Surgery

If you have ever suffered from diverticulitis, you understand how uncomfortable and sometimes even dangerous the condition can be. Understanding your treatment options is a great tool to use when you address the future of your health care. At Clarity Surgical, we believe that when our patients have the education about their options, they are more involved in their treatment and tend to have a better outcome. That is why we have put together this article about diverticulitis surgery so that you know what to expect, and when it might be useful for you.

What is Diverticulitis?

Diverticulitis refers to the swelling of the small pouches within the intestines called diverticula. Diverticula often become inflamed because they are infected, and it is the body’s way of trying to fight off the infection. Unfortunately, inflamed or irritated diverticula can become painful, and if they rupture, it can cause a variety of other dangerous health issues.


Diverticula are usually located in the colon, which is the largest part of your intestine. While they usually do not pose any kind of a health risk, that changes when they become inflamed.

When to Consider Surgery

Diverticulitis is not always life-threatening and is not always considered the first line of defense. However, you and your doctor may opt to jump straight to surgery if your diverticulitis is especially severe.


Your doctor will generally attempt to control diverticulitis with initial antibiotics, over the counter pain medications such as ibuprofen, or changing your diet to help reduce the inflammation and irritation in your gastrointestinal tract.


If these treatments do not work, or if you continue to have multiple episodes, it may be time to consider diverticulitis surgery. Surgery is often indicated if patients:


  • Experience rectal bleeding
  • Have unsuccessfully tried other treatments
  • Experience intense pain that lasts more than a few days
  • Experience a bowel obstruction that is not resolved with medication
  • Have a hole in their colon
  • Exhibit signs and symptoms of sepsis

Types of Diverticulitis Surgery

There are two main approaches that are used when performing a diverticulitis surgery. Which type is used for your specific case can vary based on a number of factors. However, you should always ask questions about anything that is not explained to you.

Bowel Resection with Primary Anastomosis

This surgery is used to remove the entire section of infected tissue. It will effectively cut out the entire portion of the intestine where there are infected diverticula, and then bring the two healthy ends back together and suture them together.


Bowel Resection with Colostomy

This procedure makes a cut through your abdomen and connects your bowel with a colostomy. The opening created by this surgery is called a stoma. This surgery is typically reserved for when there is too much infection in the intestine to use the previous method. Our staff will continue to monitor you and your recovery progress over the course of the next weeks or months. The colostomy can be a permanent measure to help alleviate the inflammation, or if you respond well to the treatment, it may be a temporary measure.


These procedures can be performed as an open surgery or with a laparoscopic approach. While there are benefits to each procedure, your individual case will determine what the best option is for you. The laparoscopic approach is generally preferred because it helps to reduce the size of the incisions that you must heal from, and also helps to reduce the potential of having an infection.


Overview

If you have suffered from diverticulitis in the past, you may want to consider surgery. Contact Clarity Surgical today to see the difference that our professional and experienced staff can make in your health outcomes.