Home HealthTopics Health Centers Reference Library Research
Join us on Facebook Join us on Facebook Share on Facebook

Digestive Disorders

Diverticulitis requires surgery?????

12/27/2000

Question:

Recently told I have diverticulosis and diverticulitis I am now facing surgery. What determines when one should have surgery? I am told they will take out 1ft of my bowel. Confirmed just recently and have had one more bout all within one month. Two types of antibiotics have been taken at once both times. After going off the first ones a few days later some discomfort returned. I was then put back on the Flagyl and Cipro. Are there any other forms of help?

Answer:

It is estimated that about 20 % of patients with diverticulitis will require surgery. Some of these patients have surgery on an emergent basis in situations where the diverticulitis has progressed to peritonitis, abscess (localized infection), perforation (the bowel wall has ruptured), or obstruction (blockage). Other patients require surgery on an elective basis mostly because of recurrent attacks of diverticulitis or because of other non-emergent complications. It sounds like the latter scenario applies to your case. Before proceeding to elective surgery it is important that your doctors verify that your symptoms are from diverticulitis. This usually means confirming evidence of this condition by way of a CAT scan and also by direct visualization of the bowel wall using endoscopy (sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy) to exclude other conditions that might mimic diverticulitis (such as infections, inflammatory bowel disease, and cancer).

For more information:

Go to the Digestive Disorders health topic, where you can:

Response by:

John D Long, MD
Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati