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Diverticulitis DISEASE

What is the cause of diverticular disease?

Indications are that a low-fiber diet over the years creates increased colon pressure and results in pockets or diverticula.

How is diverticular disease treated?

It is important to individualize the many treatment options.  Mild cases of diverticulitis may be managed without hospitalization, but this is a decision made by your physician. Treatment usually consists of oral antibiotics, dietary restrictions, hydration and possibly stool softeners. Severe cases may require hospitalization with intravenous antibiotics and strict dietary restraints. Most acute attacks can be relieved with such methods. We tried to take all necessary measure to avoid an emergency surgery and ‘cool down’ the disease process during an attack.

Surgery is generally reserved for recurrent episodes, complications and severe attacks or when there is little or no response to medication.

We perform surgery for diverticulitis using advanced techniques such as minimally invasive laparoscopic and robotic colon surgery.  These approaches avoid the large scar, results in much less pain and need for narcotics and carries a much lower risk of surgical complications.

In surgery, usually part of the colon – commonly the sigmoid colon – is removed and the colon is hooked up or “anastomosed” again to the rectum. Complete recovery can be expected. Normal bowel function usually resumes in about three weeks. With our advanced minimally invasive techniques, there is typically no need for a colostomy bag even in the most severe cases.

What to ask your surgeon about surgery

Yes we are board certified by the American College of Surgeons and American College of Colon and Rectal Surgeons.
Yes – We routinely perform several laparoscopic colon procedures each week.
Our surgeons have performed over 500 laparoscopic colectomies since 2004 which makes us one of the highest volume practices in the country.
Among the benefits, our patients recover sooner, require less pain medication, tolerate a diet and are discharged from the hospital earlier than patients undergoing open surgery.
Nearly all patients are candidates for this procedure – even if you have had previous open abdominal procedures or have many medical diseases.
As with any colon or general surgery there are several potential risks which we will discuss with you on an individual basis. However, we have seen significantly fewer risks with our patients following laparoscopic surgery – including a much reduced risk of wound infections.
This refers to the situation where you begin the surgery laparoscopically and must convert to the open technique for various reasons. Our rate of conversion is less than 5%.
Most of our patients are ready to leave the hospital in 3 or 4 days following surgery. This compares favorably to open surgery which usually requires 7 to 9 days.
Yes. Houston Colon surgeons maintain a prospective patient database which allows us to review and present our patient outcomes. We recently invited to present our data at TexMed 2006 – the annual meeting of the Texas Medical Association. Our outcomes have been very favorable with very low complication rates and compare well with published data from the Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons.