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Understanding the Risks of Diverticulitis Surgery in Glendale

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BY: ARMEN GREGORIAN | May 10, 2024 | Diverticulitis

Diverticulitis is a severe gastrointestinal condition characterized by the inflammation or infection of small pouches called diverticula that can form in the lining of your digestive system. These pouches are normal, especially after age 40, and may not cause problems unless we become inflamed or infected. When we do, the result can be diverticulitis, which can cause severe abdominal pain, fever, and a marked change in bowel habits.

In Glendale, patients suffering from this condition have access to expert care, including from specialists like Dr. Armen Gregorian, MD, a renowned colorectal surgeon. In this blog, we will delve into the potential risks associated with diverticulitis surgery, helping patients to make informed decisions regarding their health and treatment options.

When is Surgery Necessary

Diverticulitis can often be managed with antibiotics and a change in diet, but in some cases, surgery may become necessary. This is particularly true in recurrent diverticulitis when the condition leads to complications such as abscesses, perforation, fistula, or bowel obstruction. Surgery is also considered for patients who experience immune system complications or for whom conservative treatments have failed.

Types of Diverticulitis Surgery

Two primary types of surgery are performed to treat diverticulitis:

  • Bowel Resection with Primary Anastomosis involves removing the diseased part of the intestine and reconnecting the healthy sections. This procedure is often performed laparoscopically, which is minimally invasive and can lead to a quicker recovery.
  • Bowel Resection with Colostomy: This surgery may be necessary if severe inflammation and the intestine needs healing. The surgeon removes the affected part of the colon and creates an opening in the abdominal wall (a colostomy) for waste to exit into a colostomy bag. This may be temporary or permanent, depending on the extent of the disease and the patient’s overall health.

Understanding the Risks

As with any surgery, operations for diverticulitis carry potential risks. A diverticulitis specialist in Glendale, such as Dr. Armen Gregorian, MD, will discuss these risks with you in detail, which might include:

  • Infection: Any surgery risks infection at the incision site or within the abdomen.
  • Bleeding: There is always a risk of bleeding with surgery. While significant bleeding is uncommon, it is a potential complication that can occur.
  • Bowel Obstruction: Scar tissue (adhesions) can form after surgery, potentially leading to bowel obstruction.
  • Hernia: Incisions from surgery can weaken the abdominal wall, leading to a hernia.
  • Anastomotic Leak: This risk is specific to bowel resection with primary anastomosis, where the newly connected parts of the intestines may not heal properly, leaking contents into the abdomen.

Minimizing Surgical Risks

Optimal outcomes in surgery often depend on the surgeon’s expertise and the patient’s overall health. Dr. Armen Gregorian, MD, employs advanced laparoscopic techniques, resulting in fewer complications than traditional open surgery. These techniques also generally result in less postoperative pain and faster recovery times.

Preparing for Surgery

Preparation for diverticulitis surgery involves several steps to ensure the best outcomes:

  • Medical Evaluation: Includes assessments and tests to determine your overall health status and tailor the surgical approach to your needs.
  • Dietary Adjustments: Before surgery, you may need to follow a special diet to decrease bowel contents and reduce surgery risks.
  • Medication Management: It is crucial to inform your surgeon about all your medications and supplements. Some may need to be adjusted or stopped.

Recovery and Aftercare

Recovery varies by the type of surgery performed and the individual patient. Generally, hospital stays for laparoscopic surgery might last a few days, whereas more invasive procedures could require a more extended hospitalization. Post-surgery, patients will receive detailed diet, activity levels, and wound care instructions. Follow-up appointments are critical to monitor healing and address any complications.


Choosing to undergo surgery for diverticulitis in Glendale involves careful consideration of the risks and benefits. Dr. Armen Gregorian, MD, is a colorectal surgeon with extensive experience managing and treating diverticulitis, using state-of-the-art techniques that minimize risks and promote faster recovery.

If you are experiencing symptoms of diverticulitis or have been diagnosed and are considering surgery, we encourage you to reach out. Dr. Gregorian and his team are dedicated to providing the highest standard of care. To learn more about your options, contact us at 818-847-7067. Your health is our priority, and we are here to help you recover from living a pain-free life.

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