When Your Diverticulitis Can Benefit From Surgery

Diverticulitis is a condition in which small, bulging pouches form in the wall or lining of the colon due to natural weaknesses in the tissue. Unfortunately, these pouches can become more common with age. And, if these marble-sized pouches tear, they can cause inflammation, irritation, or infection, and you can experience diverticulitis symptoms, such as:

You can often find relief from diverticulitis by taking antibiotics or changing your diet. However, some cases require surgery.

At Surgical Associates of North Texas in McKinney, Texas, Scott A. deVilleneuve, MD, uses laparoscopic and general surgical techniques to treat numerous conditions, including diverticulitis.

When to consider surgery for diverticulitis

Mild or uncomplicated diverticulitis typically responds to more conservative treatments. However, Dr. deVilleneuve often recommends surgery for severe attacks. He may also recommend surgery if you have the following:

These issues can also compromise healthy bowel function due to chronic scarring. Furthermore, these issues may increase your chances of developing bowel perforations. Consequently, surgery may be your best long-term solution.

Surgical solutions for diverticulitis

Unlike antibiotics that treat infections and liquid diets that soothe bowel inflammation, surgery removes the damaged tissue causing your symptoms. Dr. deVilleneuve often recommends one of two primary approaches for diverticulitis. 

Colon resection

During a primary bowel resection, Dr. deVilleneuve removes the diseased portion of your colon and reconnects it to healthy tissue in your rectum. This procedure preserves your colon function, so you can continue to have normal bowel movements.

Colon resection with colostomy

If you have significant inflammation, Dr. deVilleneuve may perform a colon resection and create an opening in your abdominal wall for stool to pass into a colostomy bag. Once your inflammation subsides, you can often reverse the colostomy and reconnect your colon to your rectum so your stool can pass normally.

Dr. deVilleneuve performs these surgeries either traditionally with one large incision or with minimally invasive, laparoscopic techniques. They usually require a hospital stay of 2-7 days, and you can often resume normal activity within 1-2 weeks.

It’s important to note that you can continue having diverticulitis attacks even after undergoing surgical treatment. Therefore, you should take steps to reduce your chances of developing this condition by quitting smoking, eating a healthy diet high in fiber, getting regular exercise, and drinking plenty of fluids.

To learn more about surgical treatments for diverticulitis, book an appointment online or over the phone with Surgical Associates of North Texas today.

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