Q:

What can an individual expect in terms of discomfort after undergoing surgery for diverticulitis?

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After colon surgery, such as a colon resection to treat diverticulitis, patients often experience pain, constipation or diarrhea, nausea and a mild fever, according to Oregon Surgical Specialists. If the procedure was done laparoscopically, the pain is usually centered in the right shoulder.

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Many patients also experience abdominal pain after colon surgery, explains Oregon Surgical Specialists. Keeping abdominal pain controlled is very important after surgery because abdominal pain can sometimes prevent patients from breathing freely. Deep breathing exercises are critical after surgery to clear any fluid left in the lungs and prevent pneumonia.

Post-surgery constipation may be exacerbated by painkillers that cause the bowel to function more slowly. Stool softeners or prune juice may help relieve constipation, says Oregon Surgical Specialists. Diarrhea may occur after colon resection surgery because the colon is shorter, and thus matter is processed more quickly. This condition may correct itself in six to eight weeks.

Both a mild fever and nausea may occur after surgery for diverticulitis. If the fever is more than 101.5 degrees or flu-like symptoms accompany it, the patient should consult a doctor, advises Oregon Surgical Specialists. Nausea can be treated by taking pain medication after eating and by sticking to a bland diet for a few weeks.

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