Diverticular disease

I have a particular interest in diverticular disease and studied an aspect of diverticular disease for my Masters of Surgery.

Diverticular disease is a very common problem in Western society. Due to low fibre diets, the colon has to work hard to shift the stool, resulting in outpouching. Its prevalence and incidence increases with age. 70 % of 70 year olds will have diverticular disease.

Ten to twenty-five percent of patients with diverticular disease will present with an episode of acute diverticulitis. Most of the time, it can be managed with antibiotics. However, diverticulitis patients should have a colonoscopy to make sure there are no other abnormalities in the colon other than diverticulosis (outpouching).

A handful of patients will not settle with antibiotics and may need resection of the inflamed bowel. This may be happen in the elective or emergency setting. But either situation requires a comprehensive discussion with the surgeon.

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