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Diverticular Disease and Its Complications

Diverticular disease or Diverticulosis is the general name for a condition that involves little bulges, or sacs called diverticula that develop from the wall of the large intestine (colon). Although these cavities can be present throughout the colon, they are most generally found in the sigmoid colon, the portion of the colon closest to the rectum. The various variants are as below:

Diverticulosis: The presence of diverticula without connected problems or problems. The condition can result in complications consisting of diverticulitis, perforation, stricture (a narrowing of the colon that does not easily allow stool pass), fistulas (abnormal connection or tunnelling between body parts), as well as blood loss.

Diverticulitis: When one of the diverticula or diverticula gets inflamed and infected, resulting in fever and abdominal pain.

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Complications of Diverticulitis

  • Abscess formation (an abscess is a collection of pus walled off by the body)
  • Peritonitis due to perforation of the colon (peritonitis is inflammation of the abdominal cavity, causing life-threatening infection that spreads within the abdominal cavity, and can trigger individuals to become fairly unwell.
  • Anal bleeding
  • Colonic stricture
  • Fistula formation (Abnormal connection of the colon with surrounding structures including urinary bladder, rectum, vagina or the skin).

Causes of Diverticular disease.

One of the most generally approved theory for the development of diverticulosis is related to high pressure within the colon, which triggers weak locations of the colon wall to bulge out and also create the sacs. A diet low in fibre and high in red meat may likewise contribute. Currently, it is not well recognized exactly how these sacs end up getting infected and also result in diverticulitis.

Signs of Diverticular disease

Most individuals with diverticulosis have no signs and symptoms or problems. Nevertheless, people with diverticulitis might experience lower abdominal discomfort, high temperature, or anal blood loss.

Diagnosis of Diverticular Disease.

Diverticulosis often creates no symptoms, and thus, tests are done. It is typically identified throughout routine testing evaluations, such as colonoscopy or CT Scan. However, patients with diverticulitis are often symptomatic as well as consequently diverticulitis may be detected during work up of the person’s signs and symptoms. A few of the tests helpful are:

Treatment of Diverticular Disease

Most individuals with diverticulosis have no signs. Nevertheless, as a preventative action, individuals are recommended to eat a diet high in fiber, fruits, and also veggies, as well as to restrict red meat, if discovered incidentally.

Most situations of diverticulitis can be treated with antibiotics in tablet form or intravenously (IV). Diverticulitis with an abscess might call for treatment with antibiotics and a drain placed under radiologic guidance so that the pus can be drained.

Surgical treatment for diverticular disease:

There are situations where surgery is indicated. These are:

  • Perforation of a diverticula leading to generalized infection in the tummy.
  • If an abscess cannot be successfully drained with a drain inserted with the help of ultrasound.
  • Severe cases that do not respond to optimal medical treatment, that includes a hospital stay and also intravenous antibiotics.
  • People with immune system issues (pertaining to a body organ transplant or chemotherapy).
  • A colonic stricture or fistula.
  • Intestinal bleed
  • A background of multiple attacks, a patient can undergo elective surgical procedure in order to avoid future attacks.

Surgical treatment for diverticular disease generally involves removal of the afflicted part of the colon, and also may or might not entail a colostomy or ileostomy, where a part of the intestine brought out through the abdominal wall to drain right into a bag. A decision regarding the sort of procedure is made with your surgeon on a case-by-case basis.

Important Points:

Diverticular disease is more in patients with chronic constipation.
It is more common in western world.
Typically, pain due to diverticulitis is more in left side of lower abdomen.
Diagnosis is with radiological help.
Diverticulitis is best treated with antibiotics
Recurring attacks warrant surgery and removal of affected portion of colon.
Take high fibre diet to prevent diverticular disease.

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