Diverticulitis is one of the most debated digestive disorders which cause you pain and disrupt your daily life.
Inflamed diverticula in the colon area is considered to be the main cause of diverticulitis.
We have written a detailed post on Diverticulitis where you can read more about the possible causes, symptoms, diet, treatment and remedies.
With a hope that you read our detailed guide, let’s discuss different diverticulitis surgery types, risks, associated complications, etc.
This post covers below points;
Let’s start with a fact;
According to JAMA Network, rates of elective surgery for diverticulitis have continued to increase, especially in patients younger than 65 years.
When should you go for Diverticulitis Surgery?
Initially, doctors recommend medications and lifestyle changes for diverticulitis.
If symptoms would not improve and the situation seems life-threatening then surgery would be the last option.
Experts usually recommend surgery in below conditions;
- Multiple severe attacks of diverticulitis even after proper medications and lifestyle changes
- Visible bleeding in rectum
- Unbearable abdomen pain
- Symptoms of constipation, diarrhea, or vomiting lasting for few days
- Bowel obstruction
- Symptoms of sepsis
Types of Diverticulitis Surgery?
Diverticulitis can be categorized into two different types such as;
1) Colon resection with primary anastomosis: This is the procedure of removing infected colon which is known as “Colectomy”. After Colectomy, your surgeon will perform “Anastomosis” in which surgeon sews two healthy ends of colon.
2) Bowel Resection with Colostomy: This is a procedure of connecting your bowel through opening in your abdomen after the Colectomy. Usually, your surgeon may go for Colostomy if too much colon inflammation found. This would be temporary or permanent which is totally based on how you recover from the procedure.
These both procedures usually performed as an open surgery or laparoscopically.
In open surgery, your surgeon makes one large incision (approximately six to eight inch in size) in your abdomen.
In laparoscopic surgery, your surgeon makes 3 to 5 small cuts and the whole procedure is performed by placing small tools like cameras and other instruments into your body.
How to Make Yourself Prepare for the Surgery?
To make yourself ready for the surgery, you need to follow instructions given by your surgeon. Doctors may suggest below things before few weeks of surgery;
Things to Follow Before Few Weeks
- Stop taking any blood thinning medications
- Stop smoking temporary or permanent
- Need to get rid of any existing flue, fever or cold
- Replace your regular diet with plain fluids like water and juices
Things to Follow Before 24 Hours
- Drink only water or plain juices
- Avoid eating and drinking anything before the 12 hours of the surgery
- Take medications prescribed your surgeon on time
Make sure that you get off any social responsibilities and office workload before two weeks of the surgery.
In below conditions, your risks of side effects may increase;
- If you are overweight or obese
- If you are in your 60s or older
- If you are suffering from any medical conditions like diabetes
- If you had any abdominal surgery
- If you are suffering from any nutrition deficiencies
Below are the major complications any patients may come across during the surgery;
- Blood clotting
- Heart failure or stroke
- Infection in the surgical area or infection throughout the body (sepsis)
- Critical respiratory issues
- Kidney failure
- Colon blockage
How Long Would it Take to Recover?
It would take around five to six weeks to completely recover after the diverticulitis surgery.
Your doctor may suggest to rest two to seven days in the hospital where doctors can make sure you can pass waste easily.
Once you release from the hospital, follow below considerations for two to three weeks;
- Don’t do exercise
- Don’t lift anything heavy
- Avoid sex
- It would be better to live on plain liquids for few days after the surgery
- You can reintroduce to solid foods slowly as your colon heal.
- Follow all the instructions given by your surgeon for fast and safe recovery
In short, the particular cause of diverticulitis is unknown and thus it would be great to keep an eye on symptoms and how they react with your daily life. It helps you to understand the severity of the condition and also help in making the right decision either you need small lifestyle changes or you need diverticulitis surgery.