Discussions that mention bentyl

Bowel Disorders board

For what its worth, I recently went through a diverticultis scare with my wife and thought you might benefit by our experience. My wife has had several attacks over the past 4 years which were diagnosed by CT Scan and colonoscopy as "uncomplicated" diverticultis. Her GI specialist put her on Bentyl to eliminate the spasm and cramps and Levacquin to combat the infection. Both controlled the flare-up each time. By the way, Cipro isn't as specific or effective for diverticultis as Levacquin.
After the fourth episode he wanted her to consider the surgical option as elective surgery in order to avoid an acute attack with risk of perforation requiring more complicated 2 stage colectomy. He referred us to 2 well known colo-rectal surgeons. The first was a highly regarded local specialist in NJ and the second a world reknowned chief of colo-rectal surgery at Well -Cornell NY Medical Center.
Both surgeons disagreed with the recomendations of our Gastoenterologist for the following reasons:
1. Her flare-ups were "uncomplicated" episodes of diverticulitis, based on the CT Scans,the images of her most recent colonoscopy and their physical examinations.
2. Their was little risk of an acute attack resulting in perforation.
3. The risks of surgery and its possible complications outweighed the potential benefit in her case and the removal of the involved section of colon is no guarantee against future infections as long as diverticulosis still exists in other sections of the colon which is true in her case and most commonly in others.
4. Current guidelines don't recommend surgery for older people until after 5 attacks and then only when there is "complicated" diverticultis. My wife is 74 and severe acute cases involving high risk of perforation is greater among younger people.
5. Both surgeons felt that most episodes could be managed with Bentyl and Levacquin and we should keep a supply handy for immeduate use at first sign of symptoms.
6.If the attacks became more frequent or severe naturally the issue would be re-visited.
Naturally we were much relieved and so far so good. Gastroenterologists have a different perspective on severity and need for surgery than the colo-rectal surgeons since they see all cases as primary care physicians while the surgeons only see the cases referred to them for surgical consideration. When the GI physician feels he or she's done all they can its easy to hand the problem off to the surgeon who unless the surgeon is top notch. they're all too happy to have the business. Hope this anecdotal information is helpful to those of you wrestling with the dillemma of surgery vs conservative treatment.