• Joel Bauer MD
  • Stephen Gorfine MD
  • David Chessin MD
  • Daniel Popowich MD

Laparoscopic Colon Resection for Diverticulitis

Laparoscopic Colon Resection for Diverticulitis

Contact Our Manhattan Colorectal Surgeons

Colonic diverticuli are small outpouching of the colonic wall that most commonly occur of the left side of the abdomen in the sigmoid colon. Diverticulitis is inflammation of the colon resulting from blockage of a colonic diverticuli.

Patients with diverticulitis may have symptoms including:

  • Left-sided abdominal pain
  • Fevers
  • Change in bowel habits

In select patients, colon resection may be performed laparoscopically using small incisions and specially designed instruments. The benefits of a laparoscopic colon resection for diverticulitis may include decreased postoperative pain and improved cosmesis.

Diagnosis

The first step in diagnosing diverticulitis is a history and physical examination. Other studies that may be done include blood tests and plain abdominal X-rays. A CT scan of the abdomen and pelvis often is used to make the diagnosis, as well as identify complications of diverticulitis (such as abscess, obstruction, or fistula). Following recovery from an attack of diverticulitis, a colonoscopy is often performed to evaluate the large intestine for other lesions, such as colon cancer.

Treatment

The treatment of diverticulitis varies based upon the severity of the attack. This includes:

  • Oral antibiotics, consumption of a liquid diet, and rest at home for mild attacks
  • Hospitalization with intravenous antibiotics for more severe attacks
  • If there is an associated abscess, drainage using CT scan guidance may be included
  • For severe cases, immediate surgery may be undertaken
  • Elective surgery is based upon the age and clinical appearance, as well as the severity of the attack

Laparoscopic colon resection for diverticulitis is often performed to treat an acute flare of the disease, prevent recurrence of the disease, or to treat complication. Using the laparoscope (camera) your surgeon will remove the segment of colon with diverticulitis through several small incisions.

Operation

After anesthesia is established, small incisions are made in your abdomen and the colon containing the cancer will be identified using the laparoscope. Using specially designed laparoscopic instruments, the segment of colon with diverticulitis will be removed, and the two ends reconnected. Rarely, a stoma is performed to maximize the safety of the operation for you.

Postoperative Care

Following a colon resection, you will receive pain medication and intravenous fluid. You may receive antibiotics. Once bowel function returns, as evidenced by passage of gas or stool, your diet will be advanced. Once you tolerate a diet, and have no signs of fever or other complications of the surgery, you will be discharged from the hospital. You will be given a prescription for pain medication. In the 1-2 weeks following surgery, you will see your surgeon for a follow-up appointment.

It’s important that you speak with a skilled Manhattan colorectal surgeon by contacting Manhattan Surgical Associates online or calling 646.798.4606.

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