Learn About Meckel Diverticulum

What is the definition of Meckel's Diverticulum?

A Meckel diverticulum is a pouch on the wall of the lower part of the small intestine that is present at birth (congenital). The diverticulum may contain tissue similar to that of the stomach or pancreas.

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What are the causes of Meckel's Diverticulum?

A Meckel diverticulum is tissue left over from when the baby's digestive tract was forming before birth. A small number of people have a Meckel diverticulum. However, only a few develop symptoms.

What are the symptoms of Meckel's Diverticulum?

Symptoms may include:

  • Pain in the abdomen that can be mild or severe
  • Blood in the stool
  • Nausea and vomiting

Symptoms often occur during the first few years of life. However, they may not start until adulthood.

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What are the current treatments for Meckel's Diverticulum?

You may need surgery to remove the diverticulum if bleeding develops. The segment of small intestine that contains the diverticulum is taken out. The ends of the intestine are sewn back together.

You may need to take iron supplements to treat anemia. You may need a blood transfusion if you have a lot of bleeding,

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What is the outlook (prognosis) for Meckel's Diverticulum?

Most people recover fully from surgery and will not have the problem come back. Complications from the surgery are also unlikely.

What are the possible complications of Meckel's Diverticulum?

Complications may include:

  • Excess bleeding (hemorrhage) from the diverticulum
  • Folding of the intestines (intussusception), a type of blockage
  • Peritonitis
  • Tear (perforation) of the bowel at the diverticulum
When should I contact a medical professional for Meckel's Diverticulum?

See your health care provider right away if your child passes blood or bloody stool or has ongoing abdominal pain.

Digestive system
Digestive system organs
Meckel's diverticulectomy - normal anatomy
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What are the Latest Advances for Meckel Diverticulum?
Laparoszkópos appendectomia gyermekkorban.
Management of Incidentalomas.
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Omphalomesenteric Duct Anomalies in Children: A Multimodality Overview.
Who are the sources who wrote this article ?

Published Date: October 27, 2020
Published By: Michael M. Phillips, MD, Clinical Professor of Medicine, The George Washington University School of Medicine, Washington, DC. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

What are the references for this article ?

Bass LM, Wershil BK. Anatomy, histology, embryology, and developmental anomalies of the small and large intestine. In: Feldman M, Friedman LS, Brandt LJ, eds. Sleisenger and Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease. 11th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2021:chap 98.

Kleigman RM, St. Geme JW, Blum NJ, Shah SS, Tasker RC, Wilson KM. Intestinal duplications, Meckel diverticulum, and other remnants of the omphalomesenteric duct. In: Kliegman RM, St. Geme JW, Blum NJ, Shah SS, Tasker RC, Wilson KM, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 21st ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 357.