Metro Bariatrics - Amir Moazzez MD, FACS

Diverticular Disease

What is Diverticulosis?

image01Diverticulosis is the condition of having diverticuli. Diverticuli are small pockets in the colon wall, mostly the sigmoid colon. These pockets happen due to increased pressure in the colon, like with constipation.

Why do they happen?

When there is a lot of pressure inside the colon, as with constipation, the wall of the colon weakens. The weak areas then give way and pop out like small pockets or balloons. The main causes are a low fiber diet over several years. It does not happen overnight.

There are some people who get them because it can run in the family.

What is diverticulitis?

Diverticulitis is an infection of the diverticuli. Food or stool gets stuck in the diverticuli and forms a pus pocket or a large zit on the colon. The pocket then pops and makes a small hole. Symptoms are pain, fever, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and not having any bowel movements.

How is diverticulitis treated?

Most cases require antibiotics and a hospital stay. If the infection is severe enough, you may need emergency surgery, which may include getting an ostomy.

What is the role of surgery in diverticulitis?

If you have had 2-3 attacks, you may need elective surgery to remove that part of the colon, about 6 weeks after your attack. You do need a colonoscopy prior to any surgery to make sure that you have no polyps or cancer.

If you have diverticulitis and are admitted to the hospital, and the diverticulitis is not getting better despite medical therapy, then you may need emergency surgery, which may include getting an ostomy.

How do I prevent diverticuli?

You may not be able to prevent diverticuli, but you can lower your risk of getting diverticulitis. Eat 30 grams of fiber a day. Drink ½ gallon (64 ounces) of fluids a day. Do not strain during a bowel movement. Exercise daily.

Contact Inova Bariatric

If you would like more information on diverticular disease and treatment options, or if you would like to schedule a consultation with one of the experienced doctors at Inova Bariatric, please contact us today.

Disclaimer: The information presented is only for informational purposes, and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any illness, disease, or condition, nor is it intended to self-diagnose and self-treat any illness, disease or condition. Please consult your physician for any medical concern, question, and ailment.