Peter Hibberd, M.D., is a doctor whose advice is based on more than 28 years of hospital outpatient and inpatient experience. He is an experienced emergency medicine physician, surgeon, and consultant. Dr. Hibberd is certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine. He is also a fellow and active member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, an active member of the American College of Emergency Physicians, and a member and fellow of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Hibberd has earned numerous national and international professional certifications, memberships, and awards.
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Treat Diverticulitis Quickly

Tuesday, 10 May 2011 01:09 PM

Question: How is diverticulitis treated?

Dr. Hibberd’s Answer:

Diverticulitis is an inflamed and infected pocket or out-pouching of the large bowel. Such an infection often can be managed with appropriate combinations of oral antibiotic medications, but more advanced cases may need hospitalization and intravenous medication to reduce the chance of rupture into the abdominal cavity.

Because these infections may perforate and leak into the abdominal cavity with very little warning, you should seek professional medical guidance when you develop abdominal discomfort, especially when diverticulitis is suspected.

I regard diverticulitis as a variation of an appendicitis-like condition, but in an area of the large bowel (colon) that usually is less likely to rupture than the appendix. Treat this condition aggressively; some patients will require surgical colon resection and sometimes a temporary colostomy.

Surgery is usually reserved for those cases at risk of imminent perforation, or when infection is too extensive to prevent catastrophic abdominal cavity perforation and infection despite the best antibiotic treatment available.


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