Diverticula are small, bulging pouches that form in the wall of the colon. They usually develop in people over the age of 50, and for most individuals, they do not cause a problem. However, if the diverticula become infected or inflamed, you may develop diverticulitis, which causes symptoms ranging from pain, fever, and nausea, to life-threatening infection.

Surgery for Diverticulitis

Simple cases of diverticulitis may respond to treatments such as antibiotics and dietary changes. For severe cases, however, your doctor may recommend surgery. The colon and rectal surgeons at Mount Sinai have extensive experience in the procedures used to treat diverticulitis, using minimally invasive techniques whenever possible to minimize scarring and speed recovery.

  • Primary bowel resection: For this procedure, your surgeon removes the diseased portion of the bowel then reconnects the healthy sections.
  • Bowel resection with temporary colostomy: If the bowel is too infected for the healthy tissue to be rejoined, your surgeon may perform a colostomy, which involves making an opening in the abdominal wall. The colon is brought through the opening and connected to a bag outside the body so that waste passes through the colon and into the bag. This approach allows the infection in the bowel and rectum to heal. A colostomy can usually be reversed after several weeks of recovery.