I did not think I had diverticulitis and had such a severe infection

Recently, Hoang Long Clinic had successfully treated a case of acute diverticulitis in the cecum. The patient came to the clinic with severe diverticulum infection with a high risk of perforation, putting the patient in a life-threatening condition. 

I did not think I had diverticulitis and had such a severe infection

“About 1 year ago, I underwent colonoscopy at the hospital and was diagnosed with a diverticulum in the cecum. However, since then, I have not had any clinical symptoms, so I did not think that I would have diverticulitis. Recently, when I had prolonged abdominal pain and fever, I went to see the doctor and was not only diagnosed with diverticulitis but also suffered a serious infection.” – L.V.L (54 years old – Quang Ngai) said.

L.V.L had been experiencing fever and severe abdominal pain which was located around the navel and gradually increased in 3 days before visiting Hoang Long clinic. At the baseline, the temperature was 38.5 Celsius degrees (after taking fever-reducing medication). White blood cell count and CRPhs were elevated. 

The patient was then referred for colon endoscopy. During the procedure, mucosal edema and several diverticula was found in the cecum. There was one diverticulum with a solid fecal stone inside, leading to severe mucosal edema. The endoscopist used a biopsy forcep to slightly press the diverticulum and saw white pus coming out from the diverticulum. 

The diverticulum in the cecum

The diverticulum in the cecum

Professor Dao Van Long, MD, PhD – Former Head of Gastroenterology Department of Bach Mai Hospital, Former Director of Hanoi Medical University Hospital, Senior specialist in Hoang Long Clinic said: “I saw this patient as a complicated case with severe inflammation and high risk of diverticular perforation. If the inflamed diverticulum perforates, the patient will be in a life-threatening condition and need emergency intervention. We discussed and finally decided to remove the fecal stones and clean the diverticulum immediately via endoscopy”. He also said: “After removing the fecal stones, several small ulcers and pus fluid were observed in the base of the diverticulum. If the patient is not treated properly, the diverticulum can burst at any time, seriously affecting the patient's health and life."

Ulcers and pus fluid in the base of the diverticulum 

Ulcers and pus fluid in the base of the diverticulum 

After removing the fecal stones and cleansing the diverticulum, the status of the patient was improved. The abdominal pain and fever were also gradually reduced. The patient was prescribed antibiotics, fed with light food, and followed up in the next 3 days after endoscopic procedure. The patient was discharged after completely recovering. 

Can colonic diverticulitis be life-threatening?

Diverticula are tiny bulges that form in the wall of the colon. They can be found in many locations of the digestive tract such as the esophagus, stomach, duodenum, small intestine, but mostly seen in the colon which also has the higher risk of complications. The colonic wall of diverticulum is very thin. 

Colonic diverticula were often seen in the cecum and the Sigmoid colon. Colonic diverticulum is common in those who don’t usually eat vegetables, drink water, or have a low-fiber diet; those who smoke, are obese, have sedentary lifestyle, or use some medications such as corticosteroids, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs… 

Colonic diverticulum

Picture: Colonic diverticulum

Diverticula can exist with no clinical presentation; therefore, patients are often diagnosed by chance when undergoing lower gastrointestinal endoscopy. When the diverticulum inflames, patients will experience symptoms similar to appendicitis but the pain location can be different (the pain in diverticulitis is often related to the location of diverticulum). If not treated, diverticulitis has a risk of perforation. 

The best preventive strategy is regular health check ups and endoscopy. If any diverticulum is detected, diverticulitis should be suspected whenever patients have symptoms such as sharp abdominal pain with fever…Patients should visit reliable health care centers with the ability to treat severe complications such as bleeding, abdominal abscess, life-threatening infection, peritonitis…

“Colonic diverticulum is common and relatively safe with the exception when it becomes inflamed and causes complications. People can prevent and limit the risk of diverticulitis by consuming enough fiber and water, exercising regularly, avoiding delaying toilet time to prevent the formation of fecal stones”. Professor Long said.

Diverticulitis can be treated easier with high-tech endoscopy system at Hoang Long Clinic

In other health care centers, the treatment of diverticulitis often requires surgery to drainage pus and remove the part of the colon having diverticulum or to handle uncontrolled hemorrhage conditions.

                                      A endoscopy procedure at Hoang Long Clinic

A endoscopy procedure at Hoang Long Clinic

However, not all diverticulitis cases need a surgery treatment. With the introduction of modern endoscopy technology – which we are using in Hoang Long Clinic, the removal of fecal stones and the treatment of diverticulitis via endoscopy become easier and avoid the risk of complications due to surgery.

Besides, doctors at the clinic are all leading experts, with many years of experience in examining and treating digestive diseases, especially difficult cases. Patients can completely put their trust when coming to visit and have treatment here.

Contact information: Hoang Long Clinic

- Address: 10th floor, VCCI tower, 9 Dao Duy Anh, Dong Da, Hanoi.

                  18th floor, CONINCO tower, 4 Ton That Tung, Dong Da, Hanoi.

- Hotline: 19008904| 024 628 11 331

- Zalo: 0986954448

- Fanpage: https://www.facebook.com/phongkhamdakhoahoanglong/