Treatment for mild cases of diverticulitis generally involves administration of antibiotics, a liquid diet and over-the-counter pain relievers. More severe or complicated diverticulitis cases require intravenous antibiotics and insertion of an abscess drain tube. In some instances, surgery to resection the bowel may be needed, according to Mayo Clinic.
Between 70 to 100 percent of uncomplicated diverticulitis cases can be treated successfully at home with a course of antibiotics to address any infection and a liquid diet that allows the bowel to heal, notes Mayo Clinic. Soft foods can gradually be added to the diet once symptoms have improved. Over-the-counter pain relievers may also be used.
Complicated diverticulitis may require hospitalization and administration of intravenous antibiotics. If an abscess has formed, a tube is generally inserted to drain it, although a bowel resection to remove diseased parts of the bowel and rejoin the healthy parts may be necessary for some abscesses or if a perforation, bowel obstruction or fistula is present, notes Mayo Clinic.
A bowel resection with colostomy may be warranted if severe inflammation of the bowel makes it impossible to rejoin the rectum and colon. This procedure involves routing waste through the colon and abdominal wall into a bag on the outside of the body. The colostomy is reversed and the bowels rejoined after the inflammation has subsided, according to Mayo Clinic.