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Diverticulitis

If you have been suffering from diverticulosis and diverticulitis to the point where it is hampering your quality of life, it is probably time to visit Dr. Chad Lewis. His practice is located in Canyon, Texas. Dr. Lewis has twenty years of experience performing colorectal surgeries and is ready to see if you are a candidate to treat your diverticulitis.

What is Diverticulitis?

Diverticulosis is a fairly common problem that can lead to a serious condition called diverticulitis if left untreated. It may begin with mild symptoms such as cramps and moderate bloating that can be successfully treated with OTC pain relievers. Diverticulitis is a more serious condition that presents with more severe symptoms.

Diverticulitis is primarily caused by having a high-fat, low-fiber diet, resulting in the formation of pouches in the intestinal wall. If these pouches become inflamed or infected, the symptoms worsen. If an abscess or infection is present, you would be treated with antibiotics. Persistent issues even with treatment usually will require surgery.

Those who have suffered from diverticulitis know how painful it can be. It can be soreness or sensitivity on the left side of the lower abdomen or severe and sometimes unrelenting pain in the lower abdomen. These flare-ups can appear anytime and become more severe. They may be accompanied by nausea, vomiting, fever, chills, cramping and constipation.

What causes diverticulitis?

There are a few things that can lead to diverticulitis: Leading a sedentary life, smoking, obesity, constipation, medication and genetics.

The lower portion of the bowel is the area where diverticula form. When you have a bowel movement, the pressure to the wall of the intestine due to straining is the cause of most diverticula.

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Surgery for Diverticulitis

Surgery to treat diverticulitis is resection of the sigmoid colon or Sigmoidectomy. This area is at the end of the bowel and is located right before the rectum.

Surgery to treat diverticulitis is performed under general anesthesia. The sigmoidectomy can be performed either by using a small tube called a laparoscope. It is inserted into the bowel via small cuts in the abdominal wall. The laparoscope allows the surgeon to visualize the diverticula and resect a portion of the sigmoid colon and the diverticula. Using a laparoscope to perform the sigmoidoscopy decreases hospitalization time and shortens your recovery time at home.

In some cases, an open procedure is performed, resecting the sigmoid using a larger incision.

How to prepare for Diverticulitis surgery.

It is very important that your bowel is completely empty before the procedure. You will be asked to take laxatives to make sure there is nothing left in the bowel. This is to prevent bowel contents from getting into the surgical area during the procedure.

Should I have Diverticulitis surgery?

Surgery for diverticulitis is considered when the condition doesn’t respond to non-surgical treatment such as antibiotics and diet. This is a decision to be made by you and your doctor. The risks and benefits of having the surgery will be discussed with you to help you make the decision.

Recurrence of attacks or flare-ups increases the risks for perforation and bowel scarring also increases.