Thursday, June 1, 2006 | 7:25 a.m.
Comedian Louie Anderson usually keeps his fans in stitches.
In mid-June, he's the one who will be in stitches.
Anderson is taking time off from his stand-up act at the Excalibur beginning June 15 for gastrointestinal surgery because of a severe case of diverticulitis. He will return to the stage July 15.
Diverticulitis is an inflammation of tiny pouches (diverticula) that form on the outside of the colon. Usually it affects those middle-aged and older. When a diverticulum becomes infected, it can lead to serious complications, including - on rare occasions - death if peritonitis sets in.
In the majority of cases, the treatment is with antibiotics, but in the most severe instances, some patients require surgery to remove the affected area of the colon.
"Mine is very severe," Anderson said.
The 53-year-old comedian debuted his show, "Louie, Larger Than Life," in March.
"I opened the show without knowing that I had it (diverticulitis)," Anderson said. "I just knew I wasn't feeling well, but the doctors couldn't find anything."
But when a CT scan was performed, doctors "found the diverticula and an old shoe of my dad's," Anderson quipped. Doctors determined last month that he needed surgery.
"It's going to be done at Caesars," Anderson said.
Actually it will take place at a Los Angeles hospital, but he declined to reveal the exact date and location. "National Enquirer starts to bug you," he said.
Anderson said he regrets having to take time off from the show so soon after it opened. "But there is no way around it," he said.
By mid-July, though, when Anderson is back onstage at the Excalibur, his audiences once again will be the ones holding their stomachs - and laughing.