Colon Resection for Diverticulitis

About Diverticulosis

This is a very common condition involving the large intestine. The large intestine is also called the colon. With diverticulosis there are small outpouchings on the surface of the large intestine called diverticuli. If they become inflamed the condition is called diverticulitis.

Some patients have mild symptoms of cramping, indigestion, diarrhea or constipation from diverticulosis. However, there can be more severe complications of diverticulosis such as bleeding, infection, bowel obstruction, or rupture. If diverticulosis causes symptoms removal of the involved portion of intestine is usually recommended. Usually diverticulosis involves a portion of the colon called the sigmoid colon. This area can be removed with minimal after effects.

This is considered a major operation and must be done in the hospital under a general anesthetic. It is necessary that the bowels be cleaned out before colon surgery, either at home the day before the surgery, or in the hospital.

The operation can take anywhere from one to three hours. An incision is made on the lower belly and the abdomen is opened and explored. The appropriate section of colon is removed and the ends sutured or stapled back together.

It is very unusual for the symptoms of diverticular disease to recur after this operation, and most patients are very pleased with the results.