How long does it take to get over diverticulitis surgery?

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How long does it take to fully recover from diverticulitis surgery?
related to an answer for: What Causes Diverticulitis?

4 Answers

These messages are for mutual support and information sharing only. Always consult your doctor before trying anything you read here.

A traditional diverticulitis surgery requires the patient to sit in the hospital for about 2-7 days for monitor and there will be normally about 6-8 weeks before the patient's colon could function well again. 

When you get home, do avoid these following things for at least two weeks:

  • do strenuous exercise, lift heavy things or have sex
  • eat solid food immediately after the surgery
  • others you are not supposed to do

There could also be some side effects or complications after the surgery:

  • nausea or vomiting
  • intense pain in the abdomen
  • blood clots
  • surgical site infection
  • heart failure or kidney failure
  • narrowing or blockage of the colon
  • fecal incontinence
  • others

Anyway, you should take good care of yourself after the surgery. Good luck!

Risks are not low in the surgery. 

  1. The incision is quite large, so it takes longer to heal, and it requires more actions to prevent infection during the surgery. 
  2. During the surgery, blood clot may happen to some patient, which may lead to other complications, such as heart failure, kidney failure and a leak in the colon. 
  3. The surgery requires general anesthesia and if the large doze of anesthetics is not flushed out of the body, one may experience untoward effects after surgery.

Recovery can be painful, and the time span varies, depending on factors like age.

  •  After the surgery, you are encouraged to walk around slowly to reduce the risk of a blood clot.
  •  After spending about two to seven days in the hospital, you will be discharged from the hospital.  

(a) Strenuous activities should be avoided

(b) Your diet should be soft, especially the clear liquid is highly recommended

(c) Form a healthy lifestyle.


You’ll spend about two to seven days in the hospital after this surgery while your doctors monitor you and make sure you can pass waste again.

Don’t exercise, lift anything heavy, or have sex for at least two weeks after you leave the hospital. You should consult your doctor for exact time depending on your preoperative status and how your surgery went.

Have only clear liquids at first. Slowly reintroduce solid foods into your diet as your colon heals or as your doctor instructs you to.
I had a 4 hour surgery that turned into 5 hours.  I had an excellent surgeon.  I had a bad case of diverticulosis.  I was diagnosed 10 years prior when I had my first attack.  Between those ten years leading up to my surgery I had several attacks which required two weeks of taking cipro and flagyl.  It was not a fun time and my quality of life was declining despite my attempts to exercise and stay healthy. In the year leading up to my surgery, I had a serous attack which landed me in the hospital for 8 days with an e-coli abcess which had to be pierced with very little anesthesia.  It was at that time that the team of surgeons suggested I consider having surgery to resolve the area that was plaguing me.

Anyway, at the time (and I still do), I was working as a paralegal for an insurance company and completely overwhelmed with an overload of work - it was ridiculous and only served to make my situation worse.  I was scheduled for surgery 3 times, missing the first two in July and October because I came down with diverticulitis attacks one week before surgery.  

My doctor asked me to lose as much weight as possible before the surgery.  I started at 240 lbs in April and by my last scheduled surgery date I was 186, which looked lean for me.  I lost 54 llbs by using a treadmill for an hour a day and watching my portions.  I was in good form.  I was in such good shape that the day after my surgery, and I kid you not, my doctor cleared me to walk.  I walked 7 miles in the hospital (had my fitbit).  I was discharged the day after that and set a record for being the fastest person discharged from having half of my colon and some intestines removed.    Admitted on a Wednesday, gone by Friday.

I recovered quickly without much discomfort.  Only used pain pills for about a week.  My surgery was in November of 2018.  It is October of 2019 at the time I write this.  I have not had a single attack.  I eat popcorn and pretty much whatever I wish.  However, now I eat much cleaner and still get at least 10000 steps a day and started resistance band training too.  Life if great now.  I am forever grateful to my surgeon.
So happy for you! I could tell you’re a tough and persistent person between the lines. I think you’re quite right on the part that working will make the situation worse than ever. Actually, I was not that lucky like you. When I was first diagnosed with this disease, I had no idea what it could lead to and just went back to my work with tightened schedules while taking antibiotics the Dr. had prescribed me. I was hoping that it could be cured if I took regular doses of those meds and had a healthy diet. But it turned out to be a totally different story. As I couldn’t stand it any longer, I went to the Dr. and he put on this extremely worried expression, telling me that there was only one choice, which meant I needed to receive a surgery. Otherwise, I would end up dying someday in the future. I was so frightened and took his advice. Now, 4 years after the surgery, I wouldn’t say that I feel optimistic for my future cause my condition still remains unstable and at times I need to be hospitalized so that the Dr. can check me out. Anyway, thank you for your inspring story.