Diverticulitis Specialist

General & Minimally Invasive Surgery

Bariatric & General Surgery located in Tomball, TX

Diverticulitis is a bowel condition that can cause flare-ups of abdominal pain. If you have symptoms of diverticulitis, Harvinderpal Singh, MD, FACS, and Viet Phuong, MD, FACS, of General & Minimally Invasive Surgery in Tomball, Texas, can help. They offer minimally invasive surgeries to remove the diseased section of bowel and free you from your pain. To schedule a consultation for a diverticulitis assessment, call the General & Minimally Invasive Surgery office or book an appointment online today.

Diverticulitis Q & A

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What is diverticulitis?

Diverticulitis is a condition of the colon (large bowel) where pieces of stool get stuck in pouches (diverticula) in the bowel wall. These stool-filled diverticula may become infected with bacteria, resulting in severe lower abdominal pain. You might also experience complications like:

  • Abscesses
  • Intestinal obstructions
  • Perforated colon
  • Peritonitis
  • Sepsis
  • Fistulas

Fistulas are abnormal channels between the colon and organs close to it, such as the small intestine, bladder, or vagina.

What symptoms might diverticulitis cause?

Diverticulitis symptoms can be mild or may develop into severe, disabling problems. Common diverticulitis symptoms include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Bloating
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Blood in your stool
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fever and chills

The pain of diverticulitis is most likely to affect the lower left side of your abdomen, but some people feel it on their right side.

What causes diverticulitis?

Diverticulitis develops from diverticulosis, which is the formation of pouches (diverticula) in your bowel. The reasons why some people develop diverticula isn’t fully understood, but risk factors that increase your chances of getting this condition include:

  • Obesity
  • Physical inactivity
  • Smoking
  • Family history of diverticulitis
  • Poor diet
  • Compromised immune system
  • Alterations in the gut microbiome
  • Certain medications, such as corticosteroids

You’re also more likely to develop diverticula — and therefore get diverticulitis — as you get older.

How is diverticulitis treated?

Mild diverticulitis often improves if you follow a liquid diet for a while to give your colon time to heal. You might also need antibiotics to kill the bacteria in the infected pouches.

When you start feeling better, you can move from a low- to a high-fiber diet. Fiber improves gut motility (the rate at which food passes through your digestive system), which makes it less likely that stool and bacteria will become trapped in the diverticula.

Most patients benefit from this noninvasive treatment. However, if your diverticulitis flares up repeatedly, won’t go away, or you’re in a lot of pain, surgery might be necessary.

What surgery would I need for diverticulitis?

When they perform diverticulitis surgery, the General & Minimally Invasive Surgery surgeons remove the diseased sections of your colon then repair the damaged tissues.

Diverticulitis surgery might require traditional open methods, where the surgeon makes a large incision in your body to access the diverticula. However, where possible, the surgeons at General & Minimally Invasive Surgery use minimally invasive techniques that don’t require such sizable cuts.

They can also use an advanced robotic surgery system for optimal precision when treating diverticulitis. After surgery for diverticulitis, you should be able to resume your normal activities within a few weeks.

To find out how you could benefit from diverticulitis surgery, call General & Minimally Invasive Surgery or book an appointment online today.