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Digestive system organs


Meckel's diverticulectomy  - series
Meckel's diverticulectomy - series


Definition:

A Meckel's diverticulum is a pouch on the wall of the lower part of the small bowel that is present at birth (congenital). The diverticulum may contain tissue from the stomach or pancreas.



Causes, incidence, and risk factors:

A Meckel's diverticulum is tissue left over from structures in the unborn baby's digestive tract that were not fully reabsorbed before birth. Approximately 2% of the population has a Meckel's diverticulum, but only a few people develop symptoms.



Symptoms:
  • Abdominal discomfort or pain ranging from mild to severe
  • Passing of blood in the stool

Symptoms often occur during the first few years of life, but may not start until adulthood.



Signs and tests:
  • Blockage of the intestine
  • Inflammation of the pouch (diverticulitis )
  • Invisible (occult) blood in the stool
  • Painless bleeding in the intestine (see GI bleeding )
  • Visible blood in the stool

Tests:



Treatment:

Surgery to remove the diverticulum is recommended if bleeding develops. In these rare cases, the segment of small intestine that contains the diverticulum is surgically removed. The ends of the intestine are sewn back together.

You may need iron replacement to correct anemia. If you have a lot of bleeding, you may need a blood transfusion.



Support Groups:



Expectations (prognosis):

Full recovery can be expected with surgery.



Complications:
  • Excess bleeding (hemorrhage)
  • Folding of the intestines (intussusception ), a type of blockage
  • Peritonitis
  • Tear (perforation) of the bowel at the diverticulum


Calling your health care provider:

See your health care provider promptly if your child passes blood or bloody stool or complains repeatedly of abdominal discomfort.



Prevention:



References:

Kahn E, Daum F. Anatomy, histology, embryology, and developmental anomalies of the small and large intestine. In: Feldman M, Friedman LS, Sleisenger MH, eds. Sleisenger & Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease. 8th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2006:chap 93.




Review Date: 10/13/2008
Reviewed By: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; and George F. Longstreth, MD, Department of Gastroenterology, Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program, San Diego, California. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
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