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What is the most effective treatment for sigmoid diverticulitis?

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Quick Answer

Uncomplicated sigmoid diverticulitis is treated at home using a liquid diet, antibiotics and nonprescription pain relievers, while complicated diverticulitis may require hospitalization, intravenous antibiotics, drainage of abscesses and surgery, according to Mayo Clinic. Two types of surgeries are used to treat diverticulitis: primary bowel resection and bowel resection with colostomy.

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Full Answer

Uncomplicated diverticulitis is characterized by mild symptoms that respond to antibiotic treatment at home, advises Mayo Clinic. A diet restricted to liquids allows the bowel to heal and improves symptoms, while pain is treated using Tylenol and other nonprescription pain medications. Most patients diagnosed with uncomplicated diverticulitis find success with home treatment.

Complicated diverticulitis requires more intense treatment in a hospital setting, according to Mayo Clinic. The condition occurs when there is a bowel obstruction, fistula, abscess or perforation present, when the patient has multiple episodes of uncomplicated diverticulitis or when the patient’s immune system is compromised due to illness.

Treatment for complicated diverticulitis involves the administration of intravenous antibiotics and draining of any abscesses that may have formed, reports Mayo Clinic. Surgery may be necessary to remove diseased sections of the intestine and reconnect healthy sections in a primary bowel resection. If the inflammation caused by diverticulitis is too advanced, a bowel resection with colostomy may be needed. This procedure involves creating an opening in the abdominal wall through which waste passes into a bag.

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