Meckel's diverticulum (patient information)
Meckel's diverticulum On the Web
What are the symptoms of Meckel's diverticulum?
Symptoms often occur during the first few years of life, but may not start until adulthood.
What are the causes of Meckel's diverticulum?
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.
Signs of Meckel's diverticulum:
- Blockage of the intestine
- Inflammation of the pouch (diverticulitis)
- Invisible (occult) blood in the stool
- Painless bleeding in the intestine
- Visible blood in the stool
Diseases with similar symptoms
When to seek urgent medical care?
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.
Where to find medical care for Meckel's diverticulum?
What to expect (Outlook/Prognosis)?
Full recovery can be expected with surgery.
- Excess bleeding (hemorrhage)
- Folding of the intestines (intussusception), a type of blockage
- Tear (perforation) of the bowel at the diverticulum