Colorectal Surgical Specialists
Community Member

2625 N. Craycroft Rd., #200
Tucson, AZ 85712

Call: 520-416-5700
Fax: 520-326-8553

View Map


Peter Lee,

Stefanie Schluender,

Jennifer Ford,

Susan Gabbard,

Sarah Plummer,

Practice Highlights

Robotic colorectal surgery since 2014


High-resolution anoscopy

Multidisciplinary GI tumor board

Sphincter-sparing surgery for rectal carcinoma

Sacral nerve stimulation for fecal incontinence

Anal manometry

What is diverticulitis?

Diverticulitis is the inflammation of small pouches that develop in the lower digestive tract, particularly the colon. Pressure from constipation can create these pouches, called diverticula, in areas where the tissue is weakest. Diverticula can be tiny, about the size of a pea, or much larger. They typically develop on the lower left side of the body in the S-shaped part of the colon called the sigmoid colon.

After age 40, diverticula are very common and may not require treatment. Having them present is known as diverticulosis. When they become inflamed or infected, you have diverticulitis.

Who gets diverticulitis?

There are several risk factors for diverticulitis.

Age. Diverticulitis most often occurs in middle-aged people. Men often develop it before age 50 and women after age 50.

Obesity. If you are obese, you are more at risk of developing diverticulitis.

Smoking. Smokers are more prone to developing diverticulitis than non-smokers.

Lack of exercise. Regular exercise promotes healthy digestion and protects the colon. People with diverticulitis tend to be those who do not exercise regularly.

Diet. A diet high in animal fat and low in fiber appears to increase the risk of developing diverticulitis.

Medications. Steroids, opioids, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) like ibuprofen and naproxen may increase your risk of getting diverticulitis.

Symptoms of diverticulitis

Common symptoms of diverticulitis include:

  • Pain or tenderness, often on the lower left side of the abdomen. The pain may be constant and persist for several days.
  • Swelling or bloating
  • Cramps
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Constipation
  • Rectal bleeding

Treatment for diverticulitis

Non-surgical. If you have uncomplicated diverticulitis, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics and a liquid diet while your bowel heals. In more severe or complex cases, you may receive antibiotics in the hospital. If an abdominal abscess has formed, it will need to be drained.

Surgical. If you need surgery for diverticulitis, your surgeon will perform one of two procedures.

  • Primary bowel resection. Your surgeon takes out the damaged portions of your intestine and reconnects the healthy segments. This can be done as an open surgery or as a minimally invasive (laparoscopic) procedure. After the surgery, you will be able to have bowel movements normally.
  • Bowel resection with colostomy. In some cases, inflammation from diverticulitis is so severe that it is not possible to rejoin the colon and rectum. If this happens, you will need a colostomy. To perform a colostomy, your surgeon creates an opening in your abdominal wall, called a stoma, and attaches your healthy colon to it. A bag is connected to the stoma on the outside of your body. Waste from bowel movements passes through the stoma into the bag. Once the inflammation has gone down, it may be possible to reverse the colostomy and reconnect the bowel.


Colorectal Disease Specialties We Treat

Anal Carcinoma
Colon Carcinoma
Rectal Carcinoma
Small Bowel Cancers
Surgical treatment of colorectal polyps
Familial adenomatous polyposis
Surgical treatment of ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease
| Crohn’s
Rectal prolapse
Pelvic exenteration
Transanal minimally invasive surgery (TAMIS)
Anal fissures
anal fistula
Perianal abscess
In-office flexible sigmoidoscopy

Sign up to receive the latest
news from Arizona Oncology