What is meckel's diverticulum?

Meckel's Diverticulum

Meckel's diverticulum: Overview

A Meckel's diverticulum is a small pouch on the wall of the small intestine. It is a part of the fetal digestive system. Most often it's absorbed by your body before you are born.

But some people still have this small pouch as they grow older. Very few people ever have symptoms or problems because of it. If you have this pouch but you have no symptoms, your doctor will watch for any problems. If it starts to cause symptoms, such as belly pain or blood in your stools, you may need surgery.

How is Meckel's diverticulum in newborns treated?

  • If the pouch causes problems, your baby will be watched carefully and given fluids and nutrition. He or she may also need surgery to remove the pouch. Your baby will be asleep during surgery.
  • Your baby will get medicine. This may include medicines given through a blood vessel.

How can you care for yourself when you have Meckel's diverticulum?

  • Follow instructions from your doctor on what symptoms to watch for, such as belly pain and cramping and nausea. If you have these symptoms, call your doctor right away. Do not eat or drink anything until your doctor says it's okay.
  • Be safe with medicines. Take your medicines exactly as prescribed. Call your doctor if you think you are having a problem with your medicine. You will get more details on the specific medicines your doctor prescribes.

What is Meckel's diverticulum in newborns?

Meckel's diverticulum is a small pouch on the wall of your baby's small intestine. The pouch is a congenital defect. This means your baby was born with it.

The pouch was part of your baby's digestive system before he or she was born. The digestive system changes by the time of birth, and the old system is absorbed into the baby's body. But sometimes a part of it is not absorbed before birth. Your baby does not need the pouch now. If the pouch doesn't cause any problems, it doesn't need to be treated.

Sometimes the pouch can cause problems with the intestines, such as bleeding and blockage. The pouch may need to be removed.

Your baby may need special care, such as being in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). This may be scary for you. But the hospital staff understands this. They will explain what happens and will answer your questions.

©2011-2024 Healthwise, Incorporated

The content above contains general health information provided by Healthwise, Incorporated, and reviewed by its medical experts. This content should not replace the advice of your healthcare provider. Not all treatments or services described are offered as services by us. For recommended treatments, please consult your healthcare provider.