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Diverticulosis and Diverticulitis

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What is diverticulosis?

Diverticulosis is when you have tiny bulging pouches in the lining of your digestive system (diverticula), usually in your colon. Diverticulitis occurs when these tiny pouches become inflamed and infected.

Diverticulosis and diverticulitis are common diseases among people over the age of 60 years old living in the United States and other developed countries.


What are the symptoms of diverticulosis and diverticulitis?

You may not have any symptoms if you have diverticulosis, although sometimes it can cause mild cramps, bloating, or constipation. If the pouches become inflamed or infected (diverticulitis), however, you will likely experience one or more of the following symptoms of diverticulitis:

  • Chills
  • Constipation
  • Cramping
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Stomach pain on your left side
  • Vomiting

In severe cases, diverticulitis can lead to intestinal bleeding, tears, or blockages. Depending on your symptoms, your surgeon may recommend a surgery to remove the disease segment via a robotic or laparoscopic approach.



How do you test for diverticulosis?

Physical Exam
We can accurately diagnose your diverticulosis or diverticulitis through a medical examination and review of your past health history.

Digital Rectal Exam
This exam checks if you have problems in your anus or rectal area.

Stool Sample
Your doctor may order your stool sample to be analyzed in our laboratory for any abnormal bacteria or parasites in your digestive tract.

Computerized Tomography (CT) Scan
A CT scan can check for complications of a diverticular disease like diverticulosis or diverticulitis.

Barium Enema or Lower GI Series
This X-ray exam of your rectum, large intestine, and lower part of your small intestine checks for problems.

Virtual Colonoscopy
Your GI doctor may perform this test to check your colon using air and contrast.

Flexible Sigmoidoscopy
This test checks in the inside of part of your large intestine. It helps to tell what is causing diverticulosis or diverticulitis.

Colonoscopy
A colonoscopy checks for any abnormal growths, tissue that is red or swollen, sores (ulcers), or bleeding.


How is diverticulosis treated?

Diet Modification
You may need to make changes to your diet, including eating a higher fiber diet with more fruits and vegetables, or switching to a liquid diet for a few days to let your colon rest.

Antibiotic Medication
Your GI doctor will likely prescribe an antibiotic medication to treat an infection caused by diverticulosis or diverticulitis.

Primary Bowel Resection
In this surgical procedure, your doctor removes diseased segments of your intestine and then reconnects the healthy segments (anastomosis).

Bowel Resection with Colostomy
In this surgical procedure, your surgeon creates an opening (stoma) in your abdominal wall that connects to the healthy part of your colon. Waste passes through the opening into a bag.


Why Choose UHealth?

Improving the future of surgical care. We participate in the latest research and clinical trials, which help determine which surgeries work best for which patients. This research improves patient safety and quality of care while shaping the future of surgical treatment. Our surgeons have helped develop new procedures to treat a wide range of conditions, helping patients experience faster recoveries and fewer surgical risks.

A comprehensive team of surgeons. We provide advanced surgical care for many health problems — from heart conditions to cancer. You’ll receive care from a surgeon who has specialized experience and expertise in your specific condition, ensuring you receive the right care for your needs.

A motility lab for accurate diagnosis of GI conditions.  The only facility of its kind in South Florida, our motility lab enables our GI specialists to provide accurate diagnoses of GI conditions more quickly and efficiently. We offer a variety of leading-edge services, such as hydrogen breath testing, anal-rectal manometry, and bio-feedback.

A broad array of diagnostic and therapeutic procedures. Regardless of your age, condition, or whether you need long- or short-term digestive treatments, you will receive the most accurate diagnosis and most effective treatment to keep your stomach, digestive system, and organs healthy.

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