There you are!!!
Cathy is right.....the CAT scan and Barium enema are useful tools as far as assessing the colon for the severity of diverticulitis in terms of perforation/abcesses and the amount of tics (pockets) and location of them.
A colonoscopy is not done until 6 weeks following an infection due to the high risk of perforation since the colon remains quite inflammed following an infection.
How many infections have you had, Blessings??? And how was it treated???
The usual treatment at minimum is bloodwork, a CAT scan, and antibiotics with a resting to the colon via a lo residue diet for 4 weeks or so. Usually a first infection requires a weeks stay in the hospital on IV antibiotics. After that, depending on the severity of the symptoms and catching it prior to it infecting the entire colon, it can be treated at home with the use of oral antibiotics and diet.
They say that divereticular disease runs rather aggressively in those younger than the age of 50 often requiring a surgical resection (hemicolectomy) in which the affected portion of the colon is removed and then rejoined to the rectum (anastomosis). It is considered a major abdominal surgery but often is chosen as a way of improving one's quality of life in terms of repetitive infections which could ultimately cause a perforation requiring emergency resection surgery with a temporary colosotomy and reversal at a later date. A good friend of mine went through that and ended up in ICU for a month with sepsis (infection into the bloodstream) and having his spleen removed as well due to the amount of infection it had to it. So it is extremely
important that you find a highly qualified gastroenterlogist who will evaluate your diverticular disease and the specific risks involved to you.
Some people, depending upon the extent of the diverticuli and their location, can go on to live pretty healthy lives without surgical intervention by just watching their diet (eliminating seeds, nuts, popcorn etc.) and adding fiber to it in order to prevent constipation. Unfortunately, I was not one of them and had my resection 22 months ago. The surgery went well and I must say I am so happy that I had it because since having it I have not had an infection and am able to eat everything without any problems.
I hope the info I gave you helps you in terms of alleviating any of your fears. If and when the time comes that you should require surgery or are contemplating it, please feel free to pop on over to the Resection thread on this board, for there are plenty of us over there who will help answer any and all questions or concerns you may have.
Hope all is well....
Special (((HUGS))) ~ Goody