How Do You Treat ‘Smoldering Diverticulitis?’

The short answer from a colorectal surgeon
diverticulitis in the colon

Q: What is “smoldering diverticulitis” and how is it treated?

A: If you’ve had repeated bouts of diverticulitis, you have chronic diverticulitis. When those repeated bouts happen within a short period of time, that’s often referred to as smoldering diverticulitis. That’s where the disease doesn’t resolve — just like the embers of a fire.

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This type of diverticulitis often requires surgery. But thankfully, these procedures are often now done minimally invasively, meaning that an open incision from the bottom of the sternum to the top of the pelvis isn’t required. Instead, the procedure is done via small holes in the abdominal wall.

Through these incisions, surgeons take out the part of the bowel that’s diseased, which is in the sigmoid colon (that’s the last third of your large intestine). Then, they reconnect the remaining colon to the rectum — and there’s no need for a bag (stoma).

Patients can typically walk and drink liquids the same day of after surgery and return home after a two- to five-day hospital stay.

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— Colorectal surgeon Michael Valente, DO

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