Treatment for Diverticulitis

Treatments for diverticulitis are dependent on the severity of the symptoms and frequency of recurrence. For mild symptoms, a liquid diet or a low intake of fiber and antibiotic medication may suffice to treat the condition. Those who may face complications or have repeated attacks may require more advanced treatment. The various treatment approaches for diverticulitis include:

  • Home Care: For mild diverticulitis, your doctor may prescribe rest and a liquid diet for some days until the infection heals. The symptoms usually subside within a couple of days. After this, high fiber foods may be added to the diet. Your doctor may also prescribe antibiotics that will help to destroy the bacteria. It is important to complete the full course of medication to prevent the infection from returning. Individuals, who experience pain, may be advised to take over-the-counter pain relievers.
  • Hospitalization: Those who suffer from severe attacks or bowel obstructions may need to be hospitalized so that they can receive medications intravenously. In some patient the development of an abscess may also be observed and in such cases it would need to be drained.
  • Surgery: Surgical intervention is required in case of perforations or recurrent diverticulitis so that the infected part of the large intestine can be removed. The surgery may be of two types:
  1. In primary bowel resection, the infected portion of the colon is removed and the healthy parts are reconnected. This is necessary for normal bowel movements. The patient may have to undergo an open surgery or a laparoscopic surgery depending on the extent of inflammation. Laparoscopic surgery allows for quicker healing.
  2. In bowel resection with colostomy, an opening is created in the abdominal wall and the healthy part of the large intestine is connected to this opening. The waste matter passes into a bag through this opening. This is usually done when the inflammation is so widespread that the large intestine and rectum cannot be joined. Once the inflammation heals, which is usually many months later, another procedure may be performed to join the colon and rectum.

Frequently asked questions
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