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Diverticulosis of the colon is a common condition that affects about 50 percent of Americans by age 60 and nearly all by age 80. Fortunately only a small percent of affected have symptoms and even fewer need surgery.

Diverticula are outpouchings that develop in the colon wall, usually in the sigmoid or left colon, but may involve the entire colon. Diverticulosis describes the presence of these outpouchings. Diverticulitis describes inflammation or complications of these outpouchings.

What are the symptoms of Diverticulitis? How is it diagnosed?

The major symptoms of diverticular disease (Diverticulitis) are abdominal pain, diarrhea, cramps, alteration of bowel habit and, occasionally, severe rectal bleeding. These symptoms occur in only a small number of patients and can be difficult to distinguish from Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Diverticulitis may cause one or more of the following: pain, chills, fever, and change in bowel habits. More intense symptoms are associated with serious complications, such as perforation, abscess, or fistula formation. Diagnosis is usually made by a CT scan or barium enema.

How is Diverticulitis treated?

Diverticulitis is initially managed with oral or intraveneous antibiotics depending on severity, and dietary restrictions. A low-fiber diet or liquid diet and antibiotics may be recommended when symptoms are mild. Diverticulitis Surgery is recommended for recurrent episodes, complications such as perforation, stricture, or severe attacks when there is little or no response to medication to remove the diseased part of the colon. We have extensive experience curing this Diverticulitis disease by a laparsocopic operation.

The patient's age in the treatment plan may be an important factor. Generally patients younger than 50 are suggested more aggressive treatment than patients older than 50. Younger patients may be at a higher risk for complications and recurrent attacks such as abscessed or perforated colon.

References: Jani N, Finkelstein S, Blumberg D, Regueiro M. Segmental Colitis Associated with Diverticulosis. Dig Dis Sci 2002; 47: 1175-81.

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