Diverticulitis is known for causing pain, most often in your lower left abdomen. Since the pain is due to an infection, it’s important to get medical care to prevent complications. The physicians at California Colorectal Surgeons have years of experience diagnosing and providing the full range of treatment for diverticulitis, including minimally invasive procedures when surgical intervention is needed. To schedule an appointment, call the office in Beverly Hills, California, or use the online booking feature.
Diverticula develop when a small area in the wall of your digestive tract protrudes out, forming a tiny pouch or sac. Although diverticula can occur anywhere along your intestine, they typically arise on the lower left side of the large intestine, where the pressure is higher compared with the rest of the colon.
Diverticula may be caused by:
When diverticula are present, you have a condition called diverticulosis. Most patients with diverticulosis never experience problems or symptoms, but when the pouch becomes infected and inflamed, you have diverticulitis.
Diverticulitis primarily causes pain, which may be mild to sharp, depending on the severity of the infection. You may also develop a fever, nausea and vomiting, constipation, or possibly diarrhea.
Severe cases of diverticulitis can cause a perforated colon, or an opening through the colon wall, which allows an infection to spread into your abdominal cavity.
A mild case of diverticulitis can be treated at home with dietary restrictions and prescription antibiotics. In moderate cases, you may need to stay in the hospital so you can receive intravenous antibiotics, bowel rest, and close monitoring.
The team at California Colorectal Surgeons performs surgery when you have a perforated colon, a fistula develops, the infection doesn’t respond to antibiotics, or you have recurrent diverticulitis.
When diverticulitis leads to perforation, your surgeon removes the damaged portion of the colon and installs a temporary colostomy bag. In cases of recurrent diverticulitis, your surgeon can usually reconnect the two ends of the colon.
In many cases, your physician at California Colorectal Surgeons repairs diverticulitis with minimally invasive surgery. This type of surgery is done using long, narrow instruments placed through a few very small incisions.
An instrument called a laparoscope is inserted through one incision. It holds a camera and lighting to provide a magnified view of the surgical site. Then your surgeon may insert specialized surgical tools through the laparoscope, or use another small incision.
Since minimally invasive surgery causes significantly less trauma compared with the single, long incision of open surgery, your benefits include less postoperative pain, a shorter hospital stay, and a quicker recovery.
If you develop pain in your lower left abdomen, call California Colorectal Surgeons or book an appointment online.