Advanced inflammation of diverticula (tiny pouches) lining the intestinal wall can cause abscesses and severe infections to develop. Unless surgically treated, diverticulitis could lead to scarring. Surgery for diverticulitis involves removal of damaged portions of the intestine that promote infection and inflammation. In most cases, this type of surgery significantly reduces symptoms and may allow patients to stop taking antibiotics if they adhere to dietary and lifestyle restrictions. Some people have diverticulitis but may never need surgery.
Diverticula can form anywhere along the digestive tract but frequently cluster near the bottom of the sigmoid and descending colons located on the left of the abdomen. If these tiny pouches in the colon develop abscesses, become infected or lead to bowel perforation, it becomes the condition we know as diverticulitis.
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