Diverticular disease of the colon is an acquired disorder of bowel muscle which hypertrophies, that is, it thickens. The hypertrophied muscle causes an increase in pressure in the bowel and the mucosal lining is pushed out (herniates) through the inherently weak points of the muscle to form pockets (diverticulae). The process is rather similar to the egg‐like distortions seen in the side wall of a defective tyre. In most cases, these diverticulae cause no trouble whatsoever, but in a few they may lead to complications of bleeding, infection, abscess formation and even perforation.
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