Diverticulitis

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Diverticulitis services offered in The Woodlands, Shenandoah and Spring, TX

Diverticulitis is a serious condition that occurs when tiny pouches in your intestine grow inflamed. At Premier General and Colorectal Surgery in Shenandoah, Texas, esteemed colorectal surgeon Junuk Kim, MD, FACS, offers boutique care for diverticulitis, including treatment of complications like abscesses and fistulas. Book your appointment online or call the office for expert colorectal care now.

Diverticulitis Q&A

What is diverticular disease?

Diverticular disease occurs when weak areas develop within the middle layer of your large intestine. This allows the layer beneath it to protrude, making a diverticulum, a small sac. 

Usually, multiple sacs occur at once, and this condition is called diverticulosis. It usually affects the lower left side of the large intestine (in the colon). 

In fewer than 5 out of every 100 people with diverticulosis, these sacs can become inflamed and infected (diverticulitis). 

What are the symptoms of diverticulitis?

While diverticulosis doesn’t cause symptoms, diverticulitis causes very uncomfortable problems such as: 

  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Poor appetite
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Chills

Diverticulitis can lead to serious complications, including: 

  • Diverticular bleeding: burst blood vessel
  • Abscess: pocket of infected fluid around a diverticulum
  • Fistula: tunnel from the bowel to a nearby organ
  • Obstruction: intestinal narrowing (stricture) preventing waste movement
  • Perforation: hole, allowing stool to get into the abdomen

Symptoms occur in bouts, with an attack often coming on very suddenly. 

How is diverticulitis diagnosed?

Diverticulitis symptoms can be similar to those of many other diseases and disorders. For example, symptoms often resemble those of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), which includes Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, and may also resemble irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or other conditions. 

Dr. Kim starts with a physical exam and then performs tests, such as blood, urine, and stool. These tests can help confirm or eliminate other causes of your symptoms. 

He usually performs a computed tomography (CT) scan to confirm a diverticulitis diagnosis. The scan also helps him gauge the severity and plan your treatment. 

How is diverticulitis treated?

Treatment depends on how severe the disease is and whether you’re experiencing complications. Antibiotics, a liquid (or very light) diet, and rest are typically the first approach for uncomplicated diverticulitis.

Severe diverticulitis and diverticulitis complications usually require hospitalization. While there, you’ll receive intravenous (IV) antibiotics. You may also need a procedure to drain an abscess, repair a perforation, or for other serious issues. 

Recurrent diverticulitis may require a more aggressive treatment approach, such as surgery, to remove the damaged part of your colon.

Premier General & Colorectal Surgery offers a personalized boutique approach to diverticulitis treatment. Book your consultation by calling the office or click on the online scheduling link today. 

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