Diverticulosis is a common condition in western countries in which outpouchings or pockets form on the wall of the colon. They are believed to form secondary to a lack of fiber in our diet resulting in increased pressure within the colon. Diverticulosis is most common in the left colon but can occur anywhere in the intestine. The incidence of diverticular disease increases with age. Most people with diverticulosis remain asymptomatic. When an infection develops, this is called diverticulitis. Another common complication of diverticular disease is lower GI bleeding.
Non-operative and Surgical Treatment
Diverticular disease usually remains asymptomatic unless a complication develops. The most common problem is infection which is called diverticulitis. The initial treatment for diverticulitis is antibiotics which may by mouth or intravenous for more severe infection. Surgery is reserved for patients whose infections do not respond to antibiotics or complications such as perforation or abcess. Each time a patient has diverticulitis, it becomes more likely that the episodes will continue to recur. Therefore, patients with recurrent infections may elect to have a surgical resection to prevent further episodes or complications. Bleeding from diverticular disease can also be an indication for surgery if it fails to stop or is a recurrent problem.