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Diverticulitis Specialist

Robert G Yavrouian, MD, FACS, FASCRS

Colon and Rectal Surgery located in Los Angeles, CA & Glendale, CA

As you age, the tissues in your large intestine can weaken and form pockets that may become painfully inflamed. This condition is called diverticulitis and is one that experienced colorectal surgeon Robert Yavrouian, MD, specializes in treating at his offices in the Boyle Heights area of Los Angeles and Glendale, California. If you're experiencing symptoms that suggest you have diverticulitis, call the nearest office of Dr. Robert Yavrouian today or schedule a consultation online.

Diverticulitis Q & A

What is diverticulitis?

Diverticulitis is a condition that affects pouches in your intestine called diverticula.

Diverticula commonly develop in the colon (large intestine) of people over the age of 40 and often cause no problems at all. However, if the diverticula become inflamed or infected, they can cause symptoms such as:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Tenderness
  • Constipation
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fever

Diverticulitis pain can last several days at a time. Although the pain is more likely to be in the lower-left side of your abdomen, it can also affect the right side.

Why would I get diverticulitis?

Diverticula develop when you have weak areas in your colon. The tissues in these spots collapse to form pouches along the walls of your large intestine, and sometimes the pouches tear. Torn diverticula can trigger inflammation, and in some cases, they may become infected.

You could be at risk of developing diverticulitis if you're overweight or obese, don't get enough exercise, or eat a diet that's high in animal fats and low in fiber.

Being a smoker over age 40 also increases your risk of diverticulitis, and certain medications, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), opioid pain killers, and steroids, could be contributing factors as well.

How is diverticulitis treated?

A straightforward, mild case of diverticulitis might just require a course of antibiotics and an over-the-counter pain medication. Eating a liquid diet for a few days helps your bowel to heal as well.

If your diverticulitis is more severe or you develop complications, you may need to have intravenous antibiotics. You might also need a drainage tube in your abdomen if you have any abscesses. In some cases, Dr. Yavrouian might recommend surgery for your diverticulitis.

What type of surgery might I need for diverticulitis?

There are two main types of surgery Dr. Yavrouian can perform for diverticulitis: a bowel resection with or without a colostomy.

Bowel resection alone

To carry out a primary bowel resection, Dr. Yavrouian removes the parts of your intestine affected by diverticulitis and joins the healthy sections together, which is called anastomosis. Once you recover from a bowel resection, your bowel function should return to normal.

Bowel resection with colostomy

In some patients, anastomosis isn't possible because there’s too much inflammation and not enough healthy bowel remaining. If this is the case, Dr. Yavrouian creates a hole (stoma) in your abdomen instead and connects your colon to it. Then waste from your bowel passes through the stoma and collects in a colostomy bag.

If you're experiencing diverticulitis symptoms, don't ignore them, as they could develop into something more serious. Call Dr. Robert Yavrouian today or book an appointment online.