Diverticulosis and diverticular disease are usually treated by changes in your diet and occasionally, some medicine to help control pain, cramps and changes in bowel habits. Increasing the amount of fibre (e.g. fruits and vegetables), reduces the pressures in the colon, and complications are less likely to occur. However, these measures do not get rid of the diverticula once they are formed.
Diverticulitis usually requires hospitalisation. Treatment usually consists of oral antibiotic or dietary restrictions and possibly stool softeners. Severe cases require injections of antibiotics and strict dietary restraints. Most attacks can be relieved with such methods. For mild cases, your doctor may treat you without hospitalisation.
Surgery is reserved for recurrent episodes, complications or severe attacks when there is little or no response to medication. Young patients and patients with a severe episode have a higher chance of recurrent attacks and may be advised surgery.
In surgery, usually part of the colon, commonly the left or sigmoid colon, is removed and the colon is joined to the rectum. Complete recovery can be expected. Normal bowel function usually resumes in about three weeks.
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