Meckels Diverticulum

Written by Mr Panduka Jayawardena on 30.5.2021

Medically Reviewed by Dr. K. on 25.5.2022

Meckels Diverticulum

Meckels Diverticulum is blind outpouching usually arising from the ileum (small bowel) (1). This is the most common congenital gastrointestinal malformation (occurs approximately 2% of population). (1)

Meckel diverticulum is asymptomatic in most patients and often does not cause any problems. Meckel diverticulum occurs most often in children <2 years old and 2 times as common in men than women. (1) (3)

Characteristic features for Meckel diverticulum are located on antimesenteric border of small bowel (mesentery is an organ that attaches to the intestines containing blood vessels, lymphatic and nerves), located 2 feet from the ileocecal valve, diverticulum has its own blood supply, and all layers of normal small intestinal wall are present. (1)

Complications of Meckels Diverticulum

Complications of Meckels Diverticulum include inflammation, bleeding, incarceration of diverticulum in a hernia (also called Littre’s hernia), intussusception and rarely volvulus.

Symptoms of Meckels Diverticulum

Patients most commonly will present with blood in stool, abdominal pain, vomiting or fever if there is a complicated Meckel diverticulum. (2)

Treatment for Meckels Diverticulum

Surgery is treatment of choice for symptomatic Meckel diverticulum. (1) Only a small percentage of patients will require surgery (Meckel diverticulum associated with 2.9% lifetime risk for surgery). (4) Surgery can be performed either laparoscopically or with an open approach.


Referenced on  30.5.2021

  1. Uppal K, Tubbs RS, Matusz P, Shaffer K, Loukas M. Meckel's diverticulum: a review. Clin Anat. 2011 May;24(4):416-22
  2. Park JJ, Wolff BG, Tollefson MK, Walsh EE, Larson DR. Meckel diverticulum: the Mayo Clinic experience with 1,476 patients (1950-2002). Ann Surg. 2005 Mar;241(3):529-33
  3. Ruscher KA, Fisher JN, Hughes CD, et al. National trends in the surgical management of Meckel's diverticulum. J Pediatr Surg. 2011 May;46(5):893-6
  4. Zani A, Eaton S, Rees CM, Pierro A. Incidentally detected Meckel diverticulum: to resect or not to resect? Ann Surg. 2008 Feb;247(2):276-81. doi: 10.1097/SLA.0b013e31815aaaf8. PMID: 18216533.

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