Diverticulitis is the acute inflammation of the diverticulum or saclike protrusion from the wall of the intestines caused by injury and bacterial proliferation. 
Abdominal pain is usually localized to the left lower quadrant, is abrupt, steady, severe and worsens over time.
Other signs and symptoms are fever, anorexia, nausea, vomiting, and altered bowel movements especially constipation but may also present with diarrhea or tenesmus.

Follow Up

Re-evaluation of the patient should be done after resolution of an attack of acute diverticulitis

  • Appropriate exams 6 weeks after recovery include colonoscopy or a combination of flexible sigmoidoscopy & barium enema
    • Establishes extent of disease & rules out polyps or carcinoma
  • Diverticulitis may result in formation of strictures which may have a carcinoma-like appearance & may need to be biopsied
  • Patient should be instructed to gradually resume a high-fiber diet
    • Long-term fiber supplementation may reduce recurrence of attacks
  • Surgery may be needed for recurrent attacks of diverticulitis
    • Elective surgery is not needed for patients responsive to medical treatment & not routinely recommended for either uncomplicated or complicated diverticulitis in young patients
  • Advise patients to avoid using non-Aspirin nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
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