What is Diverticular Disease?

Prevalence This a condition that 60-70% of people in the western and developed world acquire as they get older.The great majority are not aware they have it unless they have examinations of the large bowel. This is so common it is almost normal to have it over the age of 70. However, for a small number who have the complications of diverticular disease, this can be occasionally a life threatening disease and requires emergency operations.

What is it? The disease consists of small spherical out-pouching of the lining of the bowel wall through weaknesses made by small blood vessels, which pass through the muscle – this is thought to be due to higher than normal pressures developing in the lumen of the bowel which over the years force the lining of the bowel, or mucosa, out through weaknesses in the wall made b the small blood vessels – from the inside of the bowel these are perfectly spherical smoothly covered defects in the wall of the bowel mostly in the sigmoid colon.