Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What happens if a patient chooses to not participate in the study?

A: Patients are not obligated to participate in this study and no matter what they choose, their doctor and healthcare team will work to help them get better.

Q: What about repeated episodes of diverticulitis?

A: Repeat episodes occur in about 1 in 4 people. Some people find that this risk or worry of recurrence gets in the way of their quality of life. Other people are bothered by abdominal pain and symptoms that remain after they have recovered from an episode of diverticulitis.

Q: What does surgery involve? What are the risks?

A: During surgery, the part of the colon that has been affected by diverticulitis will be removed. As with any major surgical procedure, there are risks that can occur. These can include infections or bleeding; damage to areas near the colon such as the tube that carries urine; a colostomy (where the colon is brought out to the skin); and rarely, death. More common complications are less serious and include infection where the skin incisions were made and a longer than expected recovery of bowel function that may prolong hospitalization.

Despite the risk of complications, this surgery is safe and is one of the accepted approaches to this condition.

Q: How long will a patient be in the hospital after surgery?

A: Most patients spend 3 to 5 days in the hospital to recover—during this time, doctors and nurses will work to control their pain and make sure they are able to eat and drink before they go home.

Q: What about medical management? What are the risks?

A: Medical management may include treatments such as exercise and a high fiber diet, supplements of medical grade fiber and probiotics, and prescription medications, which include antibiotics and anti-inflammatory pills that specifically target the colon.

Each of these treatments has been shown to improve symptoms or to decrease the risk of recurrent episodes of diverticulitis in some people. These treatments do not work in all patients, and when studied in randomized trials, there have been mixed results.

The risks of medical management are minimal, and all of the above treatments are safe and are accepted approaches to this condition.

Q: Will participants be compensated?

A: We recognize that a particpant's time is valuable. The study will pay participants, acknowledging the time required to complete the surveys. We will also provide participants with a copy of study results once the study is completed.

If you have more questions about the COSMID study please visit our Contact Us page.