Diverticulosis occurs when a weak spot in the lining of the colon, or large intestine, allows a small pouch to bulge outward. This is more common as people age, and occurs in about 50 percent of people 60 and older.
When the pouches become inflamed, the condition is called diverticulitis. This can cause pain in the lower abdomen that often comes on quickly. Other symptoms include cramping, vomiting, fever and changes in bowel patterns.
If diverticulitis is mild, it can be treated with rest and antibiotics. But if there is bleeding, an infection, or a tear or blockage in the colon, surgery may be required.
To ensure the issue is diverticulitis, your doctor will perform a rectal exam. If he or she suspects diverticulitis, an abdominal ultrasound or CT scan may be performed. During surgery the infection is cleaned and the affected part of the colon is removed.
The surgeons of North Carolina Surgery have experience in both gastrointestinal and emergency surgery and have been part of the Raleigh area for decades. They offer advanced, compassionate care in several locations in Raleigh, Cary, Garner, Wakefield, Knightdale and Holly Springs and help to provide round the clock coverage for surgical emergencies at the REX Emergency Department. With North Carolina Surgery, rest assured you are in good hands.
For more information on diverticulitis, visit the Department of Health and Human Services.