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Chris asked...

My wife was admitted to hospital, where a CT scan has revealed diverticulitis.

My wife was admitted to hospital, a CT scan has revealed diverticulitis, 2 pockets have burst. The infection is being treated with IV antibiotics, no dietary modification has been applied yet. May the bowel self-heal, or is surgery likely to be required?

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The answer

With diverticulitis episodes where there has been a rupture of the diverticuli or an abscess has developed at the site it is normal to treat the infection with IV antibiotics before any surgery is considered, surgery is done during this stage only if it is absolutely essential. This is due to the fact that surgical intervention can increase the risk of systemic infection and sepsis. So the preference is to manage the infection first, then consider surgery if needed. During treatment with antibiotics the gastro intestinal tract is rested and this usually gives the bowel time to heal itself. Your wife will be monitored closely once diet is resumed to ensure any perforation has healed and changes to diet if needed will be tested prior to your wife’s discharge home. This may be a high or low fibre diet depending on your wife’s needs. Hopefully this will help you,

Answered by the Health at Hand nurses