Diverticulitis: When Abdominal Pain Is Something Worse

Nausea, constipation, and abdominal pain are common conditions that aren’t typically linked to an underlying disease. Pain passes with time and soon leaves the minds of those who are suffering. However, persistent abdominal pain may be a sign of something worse: diverticulitis, a condition that can occur suddenly and cause severe complications, such as a bowel obstruction. Below, we discuss this condition that hospitalizes about 200,000 Americans each year. If you are experiencing persistent abdominal pain, consult a colorectal surgeon in Tampa who can diagnose and treat your condition. 

From Diverticular Disease to Diverticulitis 

Diverticular disease is the precursor to diverticulitis. This disease occurs when small pouches (diverticula) form in the colon wall. Despite how it sounds, diverticular disease is generally harmless and usually produces no symptoms. However, diverticulitis develops when diverticula become infected or inflamed, leading to abdominal pain and fever. Diverticulitis is a treatable structural disorder of the colon, which is why it’s important to be on the lookout for warning signs. 

Symptoms of Diverticulitis

As mentioned, persistent abdominal pain that lasts for days is a telltale sign of diverticulitis. This pain will likely be localized to your lower left side, although people of Asian descent, in particular, may experience greater pain on their right side. Other symptoms include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Abdominal Tenderness
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea 
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Cramping
  • Bloating
  • Blood in Stool 

If you have any of the above symptoms in conjunction with persistent abdominal pain, we urge you to consult a colorectal surgeon in Tampa

Treating Diverticulitis 

The options for treating diverticulitis are contingent upon the severity of the condition. Mild diverticulitis can be effectively treated with rest, antibiotics, a brief liquid diet, and acetaminophen. Severe cases of diverticulitis require a more aggressive approach involving surgery. Treatment options should be discussed with a colorectal surgeon in Tampa

When considering surgery, your surgeon should be able to perform a primary bowel resection to remove afflicted segments of your intestine and restore normal bowel movements. Your surgeon must also be skilled enough to address the complications that regularly result from diverticulitis and be able to drain an abscess, repair a perforation, and relieve bowel obstructions. Whalen Clark, M.D., is a skilled surgeon who can perform all of these procedures and more. 

Dr. Clark specializes in minimally invasive colorectal surgery in Tampa. The above procedures sound invasive, but their risks and recovery times are drastically reduced through Dr. Clark’s use of advanced robotic-assisted surgical techniques. Don’t live in pain as your symptoms only get worse. Take the first steps to relief by scheduling a consultation with Dr. Clark. 

To schedule a consultation with Whalen Clark, M.D., about colorectal surgery in Tampa, please contact us today.

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