Q:

What can you expect following surgery for diverticulitis?

A:

Quick Answer

Following colon resection surgery for diverticulitis, hospitalization is standard for four to eight days to ensure appropriate healing and function of the colon; a nasogastric tube is generally used to keep the stomach empty, according to Oregon Surgical Specialists. Most patients are up and walking in one to two days.

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Full Answer

A postoperative ileus occurs after colon resection surgery, causing a portion of the intestines to be temporarily paralyzed and preventing ingested food and drink from properly moving through the digestive system. The nasogastric tube, which runs from the nose into the stomach, is inserted to ensure nutrition. The passage of gas is indicative that the colon is working again; once gas passes, a liquid diet is initiated, and the patient can progress to a soft diet in a few days. This soft diet must be followed for up to eight weeks after surgery, states Oregon Surgical Specialists.

Patients are instructed to avoid heavy lifting and strenuous activities for at least six weeks after the procedure. Sexual activity should be postponed for two to four weeks. If the procedure is done laparoscopically, returning to work after one to two weeks is the standard, while those recuperating from an open surgical repair usually need three to four weeks before returning to their jobs, advises Oregon Surgical Specialists.

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