What is Diverticulosis or Diverticular Disease?
Side pockets or out-pouchings develop in the colon as people approach the 5th and 6th decades. The structural anomalies are called diverticulae (plural for diverticula), and the condition, diverticular disease or diverticulosis. Diverticular disease may give the impression that it is a condition that one ‘catches’, but it is not.
How MAY I SUSPECT diverticular disease?
Most people would never know unless they have an investigation such as a colonoscopy, CT scan of the abdomen or a barium enema, when diverticulae may be an incidental finding.
The condition may be entirely symptomless or may cause vague abdominal symptoms like bloating, cramps or pain particularly on the left lower side of the abdomen. Constipation may be a feature.
More serious are the complications of the condition that include inflammation (diverticulitis), bleeding, perforation, abscess (diverticular abscess), fistula formation and stricture (narrowing of the bowel). Surgery may be required to deal with these complications.
Surgery for Diverticular Disease
Operations to treat the complications would depend on the nature of the complication and its severity. The surgery required may be by traditional open technique or laparoscopic (keyhole). Both options are available at the Rectal Bleeding Clinic.