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Diverticulitis

Diverticula are small sacs that typically form in the lining of the lower part of your colon. These are common in people who are over 40 years old. When one or more of the diverticula become infected, the condition is called diverticulitis. This condition can result in severe abdominal pain, nausea, fever and constipation and/or diarrhea. Risk factors for diverticulitis include: obesity, age, smoking, lack of exercise, low fiber, high fat diet and certain medications.

Common Symptoms

Common symptoms of diverticulitis can include:

  • Pain typically in the lower left side of the abdomen, though can occur in the right side as well
  • Abdominal tenderness
  • Constipation/diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Nausea/vomiting

Treatment Options

The treatment of your diverticulitis can depend on its severity.

Uncomplicated diverticulitis may be treated as follows:

  • Patient can remain at home
  • Antibiotics may be taken to fight infection
  • A liquid diet is followed for several days to allow your bowel to heal
  • Solid food is added back gradually once symptoms have improved
  • Tylenol or other over-the-counter pain reliever is suggested

Severe diverticulitis:

  • Patient must be hospitalized
  • IV antibiotics may be needed
  • No food and drink for several days to allow your bowel to heal
  • Patient may need IV liquid food supplement

Complications of diverticulitis may include:

  • Abscess that requires draining
  • Perforation of the colon may require surgical repair or removal of small portion of the colon
  • Peritonitis requires immediate surgery to clean abdominal cavity, as this can be fatal
  • Fistula that requires surgical removal
  • Intestinal obstruction may require emergency surgery if completely blocked
Previous Page Last Review Date: June 9, 2020
Diverticulitis Team
Adrian Legaspi, MD, FACS

Adrian Legaspi, MD, FACS

Oncology Surgery
Hialeah 33016
Amit Vinay Sastry, MD

Amit Vinay Sastry, MD

Oncology Surgery
Hialeah 33016
Vanitha Vasudevan, MD, FACS

Vanitha Vasudevan, MD, FACS

General Surgery, Oncology Surgery
Hialeah 33016