Diverticulitis is a medical condition in which infection or inflammation of 1 or more diverticula, occurs. Diverticulitis is less likely to occur in individuals under age of 40, than in those over 40.
However, it may be severe in individuals of any age. Usually the symptoms of Diverticulitis include fever, tenderness (mostly in lower left abdominal area), and pain. The diagnosis of Diverticulitis is based on the symptoms. A study of a barium enema x-rays confirm the Diverticulitis. Doctors try to distinguish diverticulitis from other disorders, such as large intestine or ovary cancer and appendicitis. A CT (computed tomography) scan or ultrasound can be required to be confidant the problem is not abscess or appendicitis. To eliminate cancer, a doctor can perform the colonoscopy procedure, especially if there is bleeding that exists.
Exploratory surgery may be required to confirm Diverticulitis diagnosis. Diverticulitis inflammation may cause fistulas (abnormal connections) between the person’s large intestine and other parts of body. Most fistulas form between the bladder and sigmoid colon. Such fistulas are more likely to occur in males than females, bur removal of uterus (hysteroctomy) increases female risk. Other fistulas can appear between the small intestine and large intestine, abdominal wall, chest or thigh, vagina and uterus. Other complications of Diverticulitis such as intestinal obstruction, surrounding structures inflammations, spreading inflammations of the intestinal wall, bleeding, peritonitis (abdomen infection), abscess, and perforation (divirticulum wall rupture).
The treatment of mild Diverticulitis consists of resting at home, oral antibiotics, and liquid diet. After several days, an individual may start low-fiber, soft diet and taking daily preparation of psyllium seed. Individuals with more severe diverticulitis, where fever, abdominal pain or other complications occur, must be admitted to the hospital. The patients are given intravenous antibiotics and fluids, and do not take food or fluid by the mouth until the symptoms improve. If the Diverticulitis does not subside, a patient can require surgery, especially if fever, tenderness, or pain increases.
Approx. 20% of patients with Diverticulitis need surgery because the condition does not improve; about 70% of people with such disease experience inflammation and pain, and remaining of those have obstruction, fistulas, or bleeding. Emergency surgery is needed for people hospitalized for peritonitis and intestinal perforation. The surgeon usually removes the perforated segment and creates an opening between the skin’s surface and large intestine (colostomy). Intestine’s cut ends are rejoined at the time a follow-up surgery, and colostomy is closed.
When excessive bleeding persists, the cause may be found by injecting a dye into the artery that supplies the person’s large intestine and after that, performing X-Ray (angiography procedure). Injection of a medication called Vasopressin that constricts artery, can keep bleeding under control, but may be dangerous, mostly in older people. Sometimes, bleeding begins again within several days, requiring operation. If the cause of bleeding is known, removal of the damaged intestine section is possible. Fistula treatment consists of removing large intestine’s section, where the fistula starts and rejoining the cut end.