Diverticulitis Specialist
Diverticulitis is a painful condition that requires prompt care to avoid widespread infection. As a top-ranked surgeon in McKinney, TX, Dr. Scott deVilleneuve, M.D., helps patients at Surgical Associates of North Texas get the most appropriate care, offering an array of options including colon resections and other state-of-the-art approaches.

Diverticulitis and Colon Resections

Surgical Associates of North Texas

What is diverticulosis?

Diverticulosis is a condition that develops when tiny pouches called diverticula form in the digestive tract, most commonly in the colon, or large intestine. Over time, the pouches can become inflamed and infected, resulting in a condition called diverticulitis and causing symptoms like abdominal pain and tenderness, nausea, vomiting, fever, and constipation. Diverticula are relatively common over the age of 40, with symptoms only occurring when inflammation and infection develop.

How is diverticulitis treated?

Mild diverticulitis may be treated with rest, antibiotics and dietary changes to help the infected and inflamed area heal. More serious cases may require surgery to correct. Some patients require a colon resection, a surgical procedure that removes the damaged portion of the colon to relieve symptoms and prevent more widespread infection or other damage. Once the damaged portion is removed, the remaining ends of the colon are sutured together.

What happens during a colon resection?

Colon resection may be performed using either a minimally-invasive approach with small incisions or using a traditional large-incision approach. Minimally-invasive surgery uses several small incisions and a special instrument called a laparoscope, which incorporates a tiny camera on one end. The camera captures real-time video of the bowel and sends the images to a monitor. Additional incisions allow instruments to be inserted so the surgery can be performed without the large incision used in traditional surgery. Colon resection may also be referred to as a colectomy.

When is colon resection necessary to treat diverticulitis?

Colon resection is typically performed in patients with:

  • significant infection that cannot be treated using minimally-invasive drainage techniques
  • infection that has spread to other areas of the body
  • a partially or wholly blocked colon
  • bleeding that cannot be controlled with medication or other techniques, or bleeding that recurs

Typically, diverticulitis that requires colon resection can be treated in one surgery, but in a few cases, multiple surgeries may be required. In those instances, a colostomy may be performed to bypass affected areas of the colon. In a colostomy, bowel wastes are diverted to a special pouch rather than moving through the colon to the rectum.

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