What are the Treatment Options?
Treatment for diverticular diseases depends on the severity of symptoms. People showing no symptoms of diverticular diseases are recommended a high-fibre diet to avoid constipation and increased stress on the colonic wall. Your doctor may prescribe medication for pain and antibiotics for infections.
In patients with recurrent episodes of diverticulitis, leading to complications such as abscess, perforation, or fistula, surgical treatment may be recommended. Surgery involves removing the diseased portion of your colon.
There are two types of surgery:
- Primary Bowel Resection: During this procedure, the affected portion of your intestine is removed and the healthy ends are reattached using a procedure known as anastomosis. Depending on the extent of damage to your intestine, primary bowel resection can be performed laparoscopically or using an open surgery technique. During an open surgery, your surgeon will create one long abdominal incision, while a laparoscopic procedure can be performed through 3 or 4 small incisions. The recovery process is usually faster with laparoscopic surgery. The advantage of primary bowel resection is that you will be able to have normal bowel movements after the surgery.
- Bowel Resection with Colostomy: When you have severe inflammation in your intestine, making it difficult to re-join your colon to your rectum, your doctor may perform bowel resection with colostomy. During a colostomy, your doctor will create a surgical opening (stoma) in your abdominal wall and join the healthy part of your colon to the stoma. Waste from the colon flows through the stoma into a collecting bag (colostomy bag) attached to the stoma. Your surgeon may be able to perform another surgery to re-join your colon and rectum once the inflammation has healed.