Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Meckel's Diverticulum Overview

What is Meckel's diverticulum?
A person with Meckel's diverticulum has a finger-like pouch that forms in the wall of the small intestine. Meckel's diverticulum occurs in one section of the small intestine, called the ileum. Some people with Meckel's diverticulum may develop gastrointestinal bleeding, while others may develop abdominal pain that is similar to appendicitis. Meckel's occurs in only 2% of the population.

What are the symptoms of Meckel's diverticulum?
Meckel's diverticulum does not always cause symptoms. Symptoms develop when the diverticulum becomes inflamed, which results in a condition called diverticulitis. The symptoms of Meckel's diverticulitis can mimic appendicitis. Symptoms include abdominal pain, anorexia, nausea and diarrhea. Pain may be most intense in the right lower abdomen.

How does the doctor treat Meckel's diverticulum?
No treatment is necessary for Meckel's diverticulum, unless symptoms of diverticulitis occur. If symptoms develop, surgery is required to remove the diverticulum.

Continue to Meckel's Diverticulum Symptoms

Last Updated: Aug 27, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Meckel's Diverticulum References
  1. Elsayes KM, Menias CO, Harvin HJ, Francis IR. Imaging manifestations of Meckel's diverticulum. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2007 Jul;189(1):81-8. [17579156]
  2. Sagar J, Kumar V, Shah DK. Meckel's diverticulum: a systematic review. J R Soc Med. 2006 Oct;99(10):501-5. Review. Erratum in: J R Soc Med. 2007 Feb;100(2):69. [17021300]
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