An Overview of Diverticulosis in the Elderly

An Overview of Diverticulosis in the Elderly

Diverticulosis is a disease that leads to the appearance of multiple protrusions, in the form of a pocket or sac. The disease occurs with the same frequency in men as well as women. The size of tumors varies from 0.3 to 3 cm. Depending on the localization of pathological formations, the following forms of the disease are distinguished: Diverticulosis of the colon. In 70% of cases, protrusions occur in the sigmoid colon; Diverticulosis of the small intestine. The condition is rarely diagnosed, diverticula mostly appear in the duodenum.

Why do symptoms appear?

The frequent occurrence of the diverticulum in the sigmoid colon is due to the following anatomical and physiological features:

The presence of a large number of bends, which are necessary for the regulation of the movement of feces in the intestine;

The small diameter of the organ;

Physiologically, the intestine is a reservoir where the formation, compaction, and accumulation of feces occurs.

These factors provoke an increase in pressure inside the body, stretching of the walls, therefore, against the background of age-related changes in connective tissue elements and muscle fibers, specific protrusions of the mucous membrane occur where intestinal muscular defects are present. Pathological processes affect the submucosal nerve plexus and lead to disruption of the work of the baroreceptors, as well as thickening of the intestinal lining.

The disease includes the following stages:

1. Squeezing of vessels that are located inside the intestinal wall.

2. Violation of local microcirculation, the occurrence of ischemia;

3. Atrophy of muscle fibers.

4. Changes in intestinal motility.

5. The appearance of weak areas where the diverticulum is formed.

Possible complications:

Diverticulitis – inflammation of pathological formations;

The emergence of infiltration – the accumulation of fluid containing a mixture of lymph and blood;

Fistula – a condition characterized by the emergence of channels connecting tissues;

Perforation of the intestine – the occurrence of holes in the wall. It often leads to the development of peritonitis;

Intestinal obstruction – the condition is characterized by impaired physiological movement of feces through the intestines;


Retroperitoneal phlegmon;

Bowel Cancer Inflammation for a long time which increases the risk of cancer in the elderly patient.

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