Colonic Diverticulosis

Overview:

Diverticulosis is a condition that arises when small pockets, known as diverticula formed in the lining of the digestive track. It occurs when the weak spots of the intestine walls faces the pressure over the long time. These bulges or pockets (diverticula) can vary in size, from small to relatively large. Usually, this condition is commonly seen in the bowel (the lower part of the large intestine) and is more likely to show no specific symptoms of relatively small in size. 

However, when these pouches get infected, they can lead to severe pain, this condition is known as diverticulitis. There are other complications of diverticulosis which are discussed. 

Causes:

Researchers found some factors attach to this condition, some are merely assumptions, while others are either under research or yet to be proven. 

Muscle straining of the wall of the intestine was considered as the main cause of this condition. Chronic constipation due to sluggish bowel movements brings pressure in the colon and further it pushes against lining and then it leads to colonic diverticulosis. 

Consuming less fibre rich diet is the one of the other possible cause  of diverticulosis.  Research says that the fibre present in our food and other supplement can prevent this condition from occurring completely. Reframing it the other way, indicates that people who don’t consume enough fibre are at risk of development of  diverticulosis. 

Risk factor:

There are certain things that increase the risk of this problem, these factors include:

  • This condition can be passed genetically, for instance, if someone in your family has it, you are more likely to have it too. However, it is not necessary at all. In some cases, genes play no role in it. 
  • People over the age of 50 are also commonly diagnosed with colonic diverticulosis. Perhaps, old age is one of the risk factors. 
  • Out of total number of diverticulosis cases, 80% are men. Men are comparatively at higher risk. 

Symptoms:

Most patients who have Colonic Diverticulosis may experience no symptoms at all, but those who do experience some change might have these symptoms:

  1. Diarrhoea
  2. Bloating 
  3. Constipation
  4. Fullness of the abdomain 
  5. Stomach or belly pain
  6. Acute abdominal pain 
  7. Acute abdominal distension with fever 

Most of these symptoms can be faced with other conditions as well, this is why, a timely diagnosis is important in order to prevent the complications. The complications of diverticulosis include Infection, Bleeding and perforation of diverticulosis. 

Diagnosis and investigations 

It  is advised that any of the above mentioned symptoms should not be ignored and discuss  with your clinician. They will clinically examine you and advise you certain investigations. There are many incidences where diverticulosis of the colon is detected incidentally on colonoscopy. 

Contrast enhanced computerised tomography (CECT) of the abdomain is advised to diagnoses as well to know the extent of the disease especially in diverticular perforations. This exactly helps the surgeon in making the decision for the surgery or medical management. 

Treatment:

Depending upon the stage of the stage the clinician or the surgeon will decide the treatment for the disease. Medical management is usually preferred in early non symptomatic cases as well as early stage of diverticulitis. Medical Mangenent mainly includes treatment for constipation and antibiotics. 

Surgical management is required in cases with diverticular perforation with peritonitis and bleeding not controlled by endoscopic techniques. Exploratory laparoscopy with peritoneal lavage with or without colon resection is the standard procedure performed when required. This surgery can be performed by open conventional surgery also. 

The hospital stay of the patients vary according to the recovery of the patients and some patients may require prolonged stay depending upon there age and recovery. 

To consult with our best team of General and minimal access surgeons at Surgeons House Limited (SHL) available at different global locations. Please click this link to more details. 

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