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Diverticular Disease

Diverticular disease is a very common condition that can affect anywhere in the gastrointestinal tract but most commonly involves the large intestine, particularly the sigmoid colon. Diverticular disease often causes no symptoms. Diverticulitis is the term given to acute inflammation of diverticular disease that causes a severe attack of abdominal pain. Other ways diverticular disease can present include bleeding from the back passage, change in bowel habit or longer standing abdominal pain.

Diverticular disease can be diagnosed either at a colonoscopy or CT scan. If diverticular disease has been identified, we can discuss the diagnosis with you in detail. Treatment ranges from simple dietary changes to the use of medication, including laxatives. Emergency surgery is indicated for either bowel perforation or obstruction caused by narrowing in an area of diverticular disease. We may offer planned surgery in patients who have had recurrent attacks, severe symptoms or complications of diverticular disease. Often this surgery can be performed using a keyhole technique (laparoscopic surgery).

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