In the past, surgery
for diverticulitis was always done as an open procedure in which a large
incision is made in the abdomen. But as
laparoscopic surgery has become more popular, more
surgeons are using it for diverticulitis. There are advantages and
disadvantages to both surgeries. For example, people who have laparoscopic
surgery tend to have shorter stays in the hospital, shorter recovery times, and
fewer complications after surgery.1 In some cases of
complicated diverticulitis, laparoscopic surgery may not be an option.
It is possible that the main title of the report Short Bowel Syndrome is not the name you expected. Please check the synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and disorder subdivision(s) covered by this report.
colectomy may be done in one step, or it may require more than one surgery
(two-stage operation). In a two-stage operation, the first surgery removes the
diseased part of the colon, and the end of the upper section of the colon is
attached to an opening in the abdomen wall (colostomy).
Until the next surgery, stool passes out of the body at this opening and into a
disposable bag. After inflammation and infection from the diverticulitis have
cleared up, the second surgery is done to reconnect the ends of the
What To Expect After Surgery
The hospital stay for an open partial
colectomy is usually 4 to 7 days, if there are no complications. The hospital
stay for laparoscopic surgery is shorter.
When the two-stage
operation is done, the time between operations is usually 6 to 12 weeks.
The recovery time after a one-stage operation or after the final
operation of a two-stage surgery is usually 6 to 8 weeks.
Why It Is Done
Surgery may be considered if a
person with diverticulitis has:
Repeated attacks of diverticulitis. Surgery
to remove the diseased part of the colon often is recommended if you have two
or more severe attacks.
A high risk of repeated attacks (such as in people younger than age 40, or people with an impaired immune system).
An abnormal opening (fistula) that has formed between the
colon and an adjacent organ, most commonly the bladder, uterus, or
Surgery may be needed if a person with diverticulitis has
An infected pouch (diverticulum) that has
ruptured into the abdominal cavity, especially if a pocket of infection (abscess) has formed. In some cases, an abscess can be
drained without surgery. (See the Other Treatment section of this
An infection that has spread into the abdominal cavity
A blocked colon (bowel
obstruction) or a narrow spot in
the colon (stricture).
Infection that has spread through the blood to other
parts of the body (sepsis).
Repeated problems with bleeding or severe bleeding that
does not stop with other treatments.
How Well It Works
Up to 12 out of 100 people who have surgery develop
diverticulitis again.2 But
another surgery is usually not needed.
Some people who have
two-stage surgeries may not have the second part of the surgery to reattach the
intestine and repair the colostomy. This is often because the intestine does
not heal well enough to be rejoined.3
After some colectomies, a leak develops between the joined sections of the
colon. Or injury may occur to the bladder, ureters, or blood vessels.
What To Think About
Going into your surgery, you may
not know whether you will need to have a two-stage operation and a colostomy.
The surgeon may have to make that decision after the surgery has started. If
the surgery is done when you are not having an attack of diverticulitis, the
chances that the surgery will be done in one step are higher. Emergency surgery
has a higher risk of a two-step surgery. But some emergency surgeries are done
in only one step.
If you do not have frequent attacks of
diverticulitis and do not have complications, you may be able to avoid
surgery and to control your condition with a
People who have
colostomies need instructions about caring for the collection bag and about
dietary changes that can reduce odor and gas. They also need emotional support,
because many people find having a colostomy embarrassing. For more information,