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Old 07-15-2007, 05:51 PM   #1
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Question diverticulitis? what to do? Surgery Maybe?

this is my first posting and I am hoping that someone can give me some advice or share their experience.
I was having problems with constipation and the doctor ordered a CT scan that showed Micro-perforation of the Sigmoid colon. I was put on a two week regimen of Cipro and Flagyl. Also a clear fluids diet for several days.

The CT scan and follow up flex-sigmoidoscopy showed narrowing of the sigmoid colon due to thickening of the wall. It also showed 3 small polyps that were biopsied and not cancerous. The doctor said they were very small and could come out later. They were not part of the problem. I have never had pain, cramping, fever or nausea. The doctor thinks it is highly probable that I have diverticulitis and may need surgery. I am currently on a high fiber and lots of water diet, and being careful of what I eat. I am also taking 200mg of colace for the constipation. In 3 weeks, if things settle down, I will have a colonoscopy. Not now because it could be dangerous due to the micro-perforation, which they believe has sealed itself, whatever that means.

I feel great, just like normal. The colace seems to resolve the constipation problem, however bowel stools are narrow. The only symptoms I ever had was constipation to the narrowing of the colon due to thickening of the colon wall. The micro-perforation was obviously not a good thing, but I never had any symptoms from it.

I am wondering if the colon ever opens back up, or is it a permanent situation that will require surgery. Can someone stay on colace forever?. Is their a diet or other solution to this problem other than surgery? Lots of questions and the doctors seem hesitant to speculate until they know more. That is good, but I do have lots of questions that I am hoping someone can help me with. I am not even sure if the diagnosis of Diverticulitis is confirmed at this point, but the doctor cannot imagine what else it could be. Please help if you can.

Last edited by gwb123; 07-15-2007 at 10:24 PM. Reason: spelling

 
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Old 07-15-2007, 08:31 PM   #2
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Re: Verticulitis? what to do? Surgery Maybe?

Glad they caught the perforation before it got much worse. I'm also glad you came to the board as my story is very similar to yours.

I, too, had never had any problems (or at least didn't think I had problems) until I had a perforation. Like you I also developed constipation that summer. I figured it was related to diet and stress. I had some mild cramping (which I also attributed to stress) but woke up one morning feeling pretty lousy. Intutition told me to go to the doctor. He sent me for a CT scan which showed the perforation. I, like you, didn't feel that bad. In fact, I went shopping during the time I drank the contrast and when I had to be back for the scan. I was highly upset when they called and said I had to be admitted to the hospital. My perforation was treated with IV antibiotics. Many perforations require emergency surgery (which most of the time results in a temporary colostomy) so both you and I were very lucky.

The follow-up colonoscopy showed that the diverticulosis was very bad--in fact, the surgeon could not even get the scope through. After talking with the surgeon, we decided it was best to have that part of the colon removed. Once having a perforation you are at high risk for another perforation and probably emergency surgery. I wanted to choose the time, surgeon and hospital. I like to travel so I didn't want to have anything happen when I was out of the country. I remember telling the surgeon that I was young--I was only 50 (that made my young surgeon smile) and I didn't want to live the rest of my life worrying about what might happen.

My bowel resection surgery was done about a month after the colonscopy. It has been almost three years and I have no regrets.

It was quite a shock that all of this happened to me. After all, I was in great health. I'm sure you are also feeling that way.

I'll be happy to answer any other questions you might have.

Maggie

 
Old 07-15-2007, 09:58 PM   #3
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Re: diverticulitis? what to do? Surgery Maybe?

thank you very much Maggiemoo. That was very useful information and I think I will probably also have to look at surgery. How did you manage your diverticulitis and constipation during the time you found out and the month until your surgery. Do you know how much of your colon was taken out? Did you use the open or laproscopic surgery proceedure? I am so glad that you have felt well for the three years since your operation, for you and for me too as it makes me more hopeful for a good outcome.

Last edited by gwb123; 07-15-2007 at 10:25 PM. Reason: spelling

 
Old 07-16-2007, 10:28 AM   #4
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Re: Verticulitis? what to do? Surgery Maybe?

Initially I was on a low fiber diet for two weeks until they felt my perforation was healed. My constipation didn't continue. I probably started on Metamucil then. I do take it daily now. My surgeon basically believes that it would be good for everyone. It helps keeps moving things on through as she says. I didn't have any seeds, nuts, etc during that the time before my surgery. I remember one time eating a piece of cake and realizing it had nuts in it. I almost panicked. That really helped seal my decision for surgery--however I did have some apprehension during that time wondering if I was making the right decision. I went in to talk with my family doctor and he affirmed my decision so I felt OK about it. Though on the day of surgery, I told my husband that we could just keep heading south and go to the ocean instead of the hospital.

I can eat anything I want now but I don't eat much popcorn. It caused diarrhea in the beginning after the surgery. I will eat a little bit every so often.

I had about 7 inches removed--laproscopic assisted. My incision is about 3 inches long.

Maggie

Last edited by maggiemoo; 07-16-2007 at 10:33 AM. Reason: typos

 
Old 07-16-2007, 11:46 AM   #5
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Re: Verticulitis? what to do? Surgery Maybe?

Thanks so much maggiemoo. I know the feeling about just going to the beach instead of to the hospital. I am 60 so your doctor may even smile more if I told him I was too young for this. Stay healthy and happy.

 
Old 07-16-2007, 12:29 PM   #6
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Re: Verticulitis? what to do? Surgery Maybe?

Hi,
I'm 29 yrs old, about two years ago I went to the hospital because i had a terrible pain for two days and got worse on the 2nd and the weird thing is that it was hurting on the lower right abdomen area so they thought that it was apendicitis but it wasn't, I had an "attack" of diverticulitis, they put me on atibiotics and no food for 2 days just liquids, the pain went away. I'm lucky I didn't get a perforation (peronititis) they told me that I have a few diverticulas through out my colon and that surgery is not necessary. The doc told me that it was an infection within the diverticula... so I was diagnosed with diverticulosis. I used to get constipated alot because I used to eat A LOT!!! of red meat (steaks). The best of the best fiber you can get is citrucel because it does not cause gas like, metamucil, fibercon, fiberchoice etc etc. I would like to get the surgery if necessary, at first I got really scared I was like what the hell?? what is diverticulosis!!! i thought it was some kind of cancer or something.... thank God it was just that.

 
Old 07-16-2007, 03:54 PM   #7
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Re: Verticulitis? what to do? Surgery Maybe?

Jeb,

Hope you're doing OK now and have changed your eating habits Usually doctors recommend surgery after several attacks--they use the strike three and you need surgery rule. The concern with you is that you had one early on but you also haven't one for a couple of years so that is good. The best thing to do now is to prevent any more diverticuli from forming--which is why the high fiber diet and supplement is good.

I haven't had any problems with Metamucil causing gas. In fact, it helped my husband's gas problem.

Maggie

 
Old 07-16-2007, 07:01 PM   #8
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Re: Verticulitis? what to do? Surgery Maybe?

Hi Maggie
I was not sure if this response was meant for me. I have not had an attack previously, and did not even know that I had the problem. I have dealt with constipation for the past few years that was resolved with drinking more water and eating bran cereal for breadfast. So I didn't think it was a problem other than getting older. the 3 strike rule sounds great to me because I have only one strike. But I wonder if this is true if you have had a micro-perforation even though it did not cause symptoms such as pain, fever or nausea.
gary

 
Old 07-16-2007, 09:56 PM   #9
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Re: Verticulitis? what to do? Surgery Maybe?

It was meant for the previous poster--jeb--in regards to his attack 2 years ago.

I thought the constipation was due to menopause--probably not your problem. In regards to the strike three rule--that is mainly for attacks of diverticulitis without perforations. I didn't want strike #2.

Maggie

 
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