Diverticulitis surgery vs no surgery

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I have had 3 flair ups in 2 months. 2 CT SCAN so far. My Doctor suggest surgery. Can any one recommend alternative action?

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  • Posted

    Is it possible you never completely got over the first flair, and these other two  are the result of that  - not actually new flairs?

     

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    • Posted

      I have twice had a flare which did not clear up with just one course of medication.  One took 3 courses and the other took 2.  It also took a long time for the pain to subside - almost a year.  In the UK surgery is only ever carried out for DD for emergencies like a blockage, abscess, fistula.  So I have managed this disease with diet alone plus medication for 18 years. 

      It sounds to me like you need more information about whether or not you still have an infection or any of these underlying conditions.  Then you should research the pro's and con's of surgery to make an informed decision.  Some people who post here have clearly needed the surgery, but as you read their posts you will see that recovery is not without its issues either.  I have gathered that some doctors in the USA are "chop, chop happy" for what they term "preventative measures" and I term "cash".  I was appalled to read one post where surgery was suggested following just one flare.  Even with surgery DD can recur in other parts.

      But many people post during an initial attack, learn, follow the suggestions over a few months, get better, and no longer use the forum.  So the forum tends to be biased towards people with ongoing issues.

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  • Posted

    My question is do you have continuing pain?  I had 10 flares during 8 years.  I resisted surgery.  It really depends on how much damage shows up on the Cat scan after the fever is gone and the pain is gone.  After my last flare I took grapefruit seed extract (tablets from the health food store) for 2 months and now I've gone 5 months with no flare.   Also, I am strictly avoiding sugar, and processed refined foods with sugar added.  I take a Pre-biotic called inulin, and Culturelle probiotic.  I also rub a couple drops of essential oils on my abdomen when I eat a meal, or feel any abdominal distress.  DigestZen is an oil blend, it's food grade, made by doterra Intl, LLC.  (You can also put it on your tongue or put drops into a capsule to swallow.)  I am not a doctor, and I cannot prescribe or diagnose.  I can only tell you what I am doing that is working so far, as I haven't this well in several years.)   One very healing technique is to consume only fresh vegetable and fruit juice for 24 hours.  Do that at least once a week.  Buy a juicer if you don't have one.  I wish you good fortune, much luck and many pain-free days and nights.   

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  • Posted

    I am not sure how you know when one is over? My blood tests are fine but I have had diarrhea for nine weeks with lower left sided abdominal pain.  Some days are better than others but have not yet had a normal bm.  What I eat does not seem to be relevant 
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    • Posted

      I was diagnosed in Feb and also had abscess was on antibiotics for a month, I lost 34lbs in 4months, I have just Diverticulosis now , but have had diarrhea, burning lower left ab pain , lower back pain for 12 days now. Had labs, Cat scan, Endoscopy, bowel tests and they say all is normal, going to insist on colonoscopy and also check for Candida, IBS, CUDD, I did the 48hr liquid diet and soft food diet , I’m now back on my reg diet but following the Low FODMAT diet. Hope it works cuz I have lost so much weight. Just don’t know what to do anymore, 
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  • Posted

    Please don't hesitate to ask questions.  Speaking from experience, I've gone through 14+ ER visits,  multiple doctor visits, practically lived off the nasty antibiotics for a little over 18 months. Right now I'm 4 weeks post op having 4" of my sigmoid colon removed.  I will take the pain of surgery over the pain of Diverticulitis.  Those 18 months of diverticulitis were pure, pain filled hell I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy.  And it DOESN'T go away. Now I have a future that's going to be pain free to look forward to. You can live a life on a severely limited food list, run the risk of the next attack killing you. And I'm not blowing it out of proportion.  The surgery is excruciating but the end result is much better than trying to find "alternatives", there is none.

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    • Posted

      It depends on so many factors.  How much colon  will they have to cut out, open or lapriscopy,  how well you heal, etc. I never had any surgery in that area but because of the amount of attacks in such a short time warrented an open surgery because he wanted to make sure there were no "stray" pockets,  blockage, etc. Lapriscopy is limited how much they can physically look at. I literally had so many condensed pockets in the sigmoid area they formed a huge pocket with alot of scar tissue which was also causing a blockage. I will not lie, the surgery was excruciating but it saved my life.  Getting better everyday, and staying on the soft diet until 6 weeks then will slowly start reintroducing other foods.  The constant Diverticulitis extreme nausea and pain are gone.  Just follow the soft diet for 6 weeks,  walk alot & drink lots of fluids. It will take weeks to recover but definitely worth it.  At least you can recover from surgery.  Do your homework and don't be afraid to ask questions. 

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  • Posted

    I had one bad infection, last year, hospital 7 days. For 5 months I felt awful, nothing showed up on blood tests. Eventually was referred to surgeon. He said I should have had fecal tests. The infection had never gone away. I have had bowel resection with iliostomy ( temporary) . Surgeon said I had probably had attacks that were not showing up for at least 2 years. But at end of it, after reversal, he said I should have no more problems once my bowel settles down. I'm hoping he's right . He is a very good surgeon, but we are all different. I'm hopeful,though. I had no choice having surgery, I had abscess and a huge mass of inflammatory material that wouldn't have gone away. 

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  • Posted

    I had one attack last December  that lasted 12 days. 10 days after that I had a second attack that never ended. After a CAT scan, I was admitted into the hospital due to an abdominal abscess behind my bladder. They drained 8 mL and put me on IV antibiotics. I remained in the hospital for four days. Because I had an abscess, my doctor stated that I was high risk for complications and recommended resection.

    On May 11, I had a laparoscopic procedure with 13 inches of my colon removed along with my appendix and a small hernia repaired that I didn’t know I had.  I am now four weeks out and am feeling very good  considering what I went through, aside from some soreness in my pelvic area still. I’m eating good, getting good walking in every day and emotionally healthy again! I’ll be back to work in a few weeks and we’ll on my way to a full recovery.

    I would recommend surgery if you’re having reoccurring attacks. It’s not as bad as you might think. With proper pain management and a good surgeon, you’ll be fine and cured of the desease! 

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    • Posted

      Thank you for your detail information. In addition to diverticulitis my second CT SCAN is showing red appendix. I am guessing it is due to the diverticulitis that affects other organs? Is that what you had? During each of the three flair ups I took antibiotics and it took approximately 2 weeks each time for the pain to go away. Now the surgeon suggested for me to heal first before going to surgery.
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    • Posted

      After several attacks in a 2 yr period I decided to have surgery. I had been in the ER 3 times this year. I had surgery April 9 th it was done robotically. I had very little pain and am so grateful I feel pretty good. Looking back I was sicker than I realized!! I know some people can make u feel this disease is no big deal but it is. With some of us no matter how strict we are, really need the surgery. Glad I have a second chance. 

      Good luck!

      Kate

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    • Posted

      You definitely want to be as healed as possible before surgery. Otherwise, you may need an ostomy bag for 6 to 12 weeks if you have inflammation or infection when they open you up.  Also, if you’re relatively healthy when surgery takes place, your recovery time will be a lot shorter  and the chances of complications will be a lot lower.

       In my case, I had my bladder, appendix and surrounding tissue that was affected by a very infected sigmoid colon.  Diverticulitis can definitely affect surrounding organs and tissue if it gets infected enough. 

       Honestly, if I think back on the two week periods I was on antibiotics and how horrible they made me feel, I think I would rather go through surgery recovery instead! 

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    • Posted

      The appendix is on the lower right side of the abdomen.  I never had pain there.  all of my problems are in the sigmoid which is on the left side.  Did anyone explain the inflamed appendix to you?  If you start a fever get some help.
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    • Posted

      What do you mean with robotic surgery? I am only aware of surgical drainage, laparoscopy or cut out surgery. Please help.
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    • Posted

      Open OR is a long incision. They can take a better look around but takes longer to recover and more pain.

      Robotic takes longer , very accurate, the field is magnified.

      Laparoscopy is the same except the dr has to look manually. Both are easier to recover.

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    • Posted

      My appendix is red and the inflammation maybe from the diverticulitis that is touching. They are not that far away in the body, it is the explanation that I revived. During the surgery of the diverticulitis the surgeon will decide if the appendix needs to be cut or not
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