I recently had a colonoscopy and afterwards my doctor said that I had a severe case of diverticulosis with "hundreds" of pockets! That upset me because I've always been extremely health conscious and eat a very healthy diet with LOTS of fiber. I'm guessing it's in my genes because my daughter was diagnosed at 30 and no one eats healthier than she does. Anyway, I've had two episodes of diverticulitis within the past two years. IF I should get reoccurrences, what would be my options?? Would I be a candidate for a resection being that there doesn't appear to be much healthy normal colon to deal with?? I'm 56 and am doing all the right things to avoid constipation, etc., but I'm still SCARED about the future. Has anyone out there been in the same situation? Any opinions, ideas, suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks.........
First, did the doctor tell you there is almost no healthy colon to deal with? That's a little hard to believe because you have quite a length of colon, and usually the diverticuli are concentrated at the lower portion (even hundreds of pockets can be there).
Are you eating plenty of fiber now (when you are not in the middle of an attack)?
And I agree, there is certainly a hereditary element to this.
Hi, I share your concern. I have about 40% of my colon affected. I have had 8 attacks of various durations in the last year. I eat a very healthly, low fat, high fiber diet, take supplments of fiber and drink at least 6 5L bottles of water per day plus all my hot tea.
I was where you are until last Nov. when I had emergency surgery at midnight for a bowel obstruction unrelated to the diverticula. (Upper right abdomen) I had major blood loss, and illes (sp) for a week. I am thinking now that I won't have a resection done. I must get the formula right for staying free of pain. My Mom is just now recovering from being rejoined from her colostomy. She had to have it put in when her diverticulitis caused a rupture in Oct. She is 86. How can someone advise us? I suggest you read on the resectie board here and I know you will get help. Best of Luck. Sivad
Hi Bubs I do understand your concerns.....diverticulosis is one of those conditions that runs rather agressively, particularly in the young (those under the age of 50) I was 43 when I had my first infection which required a week's stay at the hospital and then had a second almost a year to the day later requiring another hospitalization. After my second one, my gastroenterologist told me that I needed surgery....that there was a strong likelihood that I would perforate if I had a third infection. I was SCARED!!! Of course having the rescection would be elective, but my gastro told me that if I were his wife he would insist that I go have the surgery because next time I would most likely require emergency surgery, with a colostomy only to have to go in to have the surgery all over again!!
I went to the surgeon, who told me that he would like to wait.....I was young and with only 2 episodes and the surgery being rather involved he wanted to see what my body would tell us. I was perplexed and impressed at the same time!! He conference called my gastro sharing with him his recommendations to wait it out and he agreed.
Well....within the next 4 months I had 3 more infections...all of which were not severe enough to hospitalize me because I was so intune with the symptoms and was able to get on the antibiotics and adjust my diet quickly enough. However, the meds seemed to debilitate me as much as the infection with the side effects. My doctors and my body told me it was time to have the resection and not wait until my time ran out and ended up having it done on an emergency basis and with whatever surgeon was on call.
Now....my tics (pockets) were not as significant as yours or Sivad's......thank God. They were highly concentrated in one area....my sigmoid colon, where that seems to be the most common area where it becomes a problem that requires surgery since it has a curve where food seems to sit longer or get stuck.
Diverticulosis CAN be somewhat controlled by diet and meds, however, it is quite risky because each time you infect, the lining of these pockets (tics) thins out until eventually they burst!!! Depending on how large or small the tic is determines how severely it affects you!!! I had a personal friend who never knew he even had diverticulosis and perforated, requiring the removal of his spleen, a month stay in ICU, a colostomy and infection in his blood and almost losing his life. When I went to visit him....I was convinced that I had made the right decision to have the resection!!! My friend finally had his reversal of his colostomy yesterday and expects to be in the hospital for another week.
So....whether to have a resection is a decsion that only YOU can make taking into account what has been advised by your physician. Personally...I have a much better quality of life, can eat everything with no restrictions and have been infection free for almost 21 months since having my resection!!!
Please feel free to visit me and the gang on my thread that Sivad mentioned!! There are lots of us resecties over there who would love to help you through any concerns or questions you may have. Of course, I will continue to check in here as well!!
((((HUGS)))) ~ Goody
Last edited by goody2shuz; 02-03-2006 at 07:09 PM.
Thanks to all for the information. I may have jumped to conclusions when my GI told me that I have hundreds of pockets I assumed he was talking about the entire length of my colon. Hopefully that is not true. I am doing everything mentioned on the boards to avoid another episode of infection and, who knows, maybe I won't ever have to face a resection. As has been mentioned, though, I feel this is a genetic issue as my daughter has also been diagnosed with diverticular disease at 30 years. Bad genes just "tic" me off!!!
It definitly has a genetic component, My Mother, my Sister and I all have it. None severe enough to require surgery. Aside from genetics though bad diet can contribute to this also. As for the resection, I can't speak to that personally but my Brother-in-law and his Brother have both had resections due to severe diverticulitis (once again the genetic thing). My Brother-in-law put his off for as long as he could but after the last attack (the third in 8 months)he really had no choice. Now he wishes he had it done a long time ago. The recovery wasn't too bad and now he has no restrictions as to what he can eat, aside from eating healthy like we are all supposed to. Anyway good luck to you however you decide to go.
I was one of those people that perforated with my first episode of diverticulitis. I really wasn't that sick but knew the low-grade temp was wierd in August. Needless to say I was quite shocked when I was hospitalized and even more when the nurse said, "oh, perforation--that means a colostomy" Luckily, I had been referred to a young, female surgeon who wasn't knife happy. She said that it was small and she wasn't taking anyone into surgery that felt as good as I did. (I didn't realize until I got home and started doing research that I was one of the rare ones that perforated and didn't have emergency surgery and a colostomy.) Even feeling good, I was in the hospital four days. The follow-up colonscopy showed that I had lots of diverticulosis. I opted for the resection--I told the surgeon--"I'm young, I'm only 50." I didn't want to have to worry about this for the rest of my life. I didn't want to restrict my diet for the next 50 years and I didn't want to be traveling somewhere with unknown medical facilities should I become sick and perforate. I didn't even want to wait to see if I had another episode--I knew the chances were great that I would have another one. I wanted those tics gone!!!!
I am over a year post-op. I have no restrictions on my diet. I remember accidently eating a nut before my surgery--I was panicked that I would develop diverticulitis from it. I do make sure that I get plenty of fiber as I don't want to develop anymore tics.
The above are some things to consider--you're young. The surgery is a major operation. It is much easier the younger that you are.
Hop over to the resection thread for more questions.
I had a colon resection surgery on Dec. 28, and I have to say that in my opinion, it is definitely NOT the end of the road, to be avoided at all costs! I am so glad I had it done, and I feel so much better! No more watching what I eat, or wondering when the pain will come, with the accompanying exhaustion from infection, as well as nausea from the antibiotics! I feel like I have my life back!!!! Don't put it off if that is what the doctor is ordering!!