Diverticulitis is a common condition that involves the formation of small pouches along the digestive tract. This condition most frequently develops in patients over the age of 40, and affects nearly half the people in the U.S. by the time they reach the age of 60. Diverticulitis can occur anywhere within the digestive tract, but is most common in the colon, and usually develops as a result of pressure on weak areas of the colon caused by aging, lack of fiber and lack of exercise.
Although these pouches are often harmless, they may become infected and lead to pain, fever and nausea. When infected, diverticulitis causes severe abdominal pain that is focused on the left side, similar to appendicitis. Treatment for diverticulitis can vary depending on the severity of the individual condition, but may include rest, dietary changes or surgery.
The surgeon will remove the diseased section of the colon, including a portion of healthy tissue, to help ensure the affected area is completely removed. Once sectioned the surgeon will then carefully stitch both ends of the healthy tissue back together. During this time your surgeon will also check the area and ensure the stitches have securely fastened both ends.
The surgeon will use small key-hole incisions, this minimally invasive technique can help reduce recovery times and post-surgical pain.