around the colon occurs when small bubbles on the wall of the colon rupture
. If the ruptured area does not spread the process is self-limited and the infection that results can be treated with antibiotics, often on an outpatient basis with oral pills. If the ruptured area spills more contaminated material than can be contained, i.e. Spread of infection occurs, serious infection can result and require emergency surgery
. Elective surgery should be considered if a patient has more than one or 2 episodes of diverticulitis to avoid the development of an emergency, since emergency colon surgery often leads to the need for a temporary colostomy
(bag). Also diverticulitis needs to be confirmed as the diagnosis by studies of the colon, e.g. Colonoscopy
, to be certain something else, like colon cancer
, is not to blame for the symptoms.