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What does an operation for diverticulitis involve?

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Quick Answer

An operation for diverticulitis involves removing the part of the large intestine that harbors the disease, according to WebMD. This is called a partial colectomy. After the diseased part of the large intestine is removed, the two healthy parts are reconnected.

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If more than one surgery is needed, the patient is temporarily fitted with a colostomy bag, explains WebMD. In this operation, a part of the large intestine is connected to an opening in the abdomen. A disposable bag collects stool. Diverticulitis surgery is recommended if the patient has recurrent, severe episodes of the disease. It is also an option if the patient is at high risk for having these attacks or if he has a compromised immune system. Surgery is also undertaken if a fistula develops between the large intestine and another organ such as the urinary bladder.

The patient also has surgery if one of the diverticulum is infected or bursts and contaminates his abdominal cavity or if his diverticulitis is causing a bowel obstruction, states WebMD. Surgery is performed to repair abscesses. It is also a treatment of last resort for diverticulitis, which often responds to changes in diet, medication and conservative treatments. Most patients with diverticulitis do not need surgery.

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