Diverticulitis is a widespread cause of abdominal pain and bowel problems, particularly in older age. Nina Paonessa, DO, of Paonessa Colon & Rectal Surgery, PC, is a highly skilled colorectal surgeon who uses conservative treatments to address the symptoms of diverticulitis. Call Paonessa Colon & Rectal Surgery, PC, in Brielle and Manahawkin, New Jersey, today, or book an appointment online to find out more.
Diverticulitis is a common condition affecting the colon. It affects about 50% of Americans by the age of 60 and almost everyone by the age of 80.
Diverticula are pockets that develop in your colon wall. Diverticulitis occurs when the diverticula in your colon become inflamed or develop various complications. When this happens, Dr. Paonessa needs to take action to prevent your diverticulitis from worsening.
Diverticulitis may cause:
Other symptoms of diverticulitis could include pain in your lower abdomen (usually the left side, but not always) and changes in your bowel habits, such as constipation.
You should always consult a specialist in colorectal diseases, like Dr. Paonessa, for a diagnosis because diverticulitis symptoms can resemble other medical conditions.
Dr. Paonessa will complete an extensive review of your medical history and a comprehensive physical examination before taking any action. She might also order blood work and diagnostic imaging tests like a CT (computed tomography) scan of your abdomen and pelvis.
Diverticulitis tends to affect men and women equally, but your risk of getting the disease increases with age. You’re also more likely to develop diverticulitis if you have a low fiber diet.
Most mild cases of diverticulitis are treatable with a course of oral antibiotics, dietary restrictions, and where necessary stool softeners. Surgery might be required if you experience repeated episodes of diverticulitis or develop complications in your colon, such as:
The accepted rule for deciding on surgery for diverticulitis used to be that if you had two diverticulitis attacks, you should undergo surgery. Recommendations are changing, however, so Dr. Paonessa follows the most current guidelines available.
To schedule a consultation with Dr. Paonessa, call Paonessa Colon & Rectal Surgery, PC, today, or book an appointment online.