Surgery in Inflammatory Bowel Disease


Inflammatory bowel diseases are generally either ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease. Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory bowel disease where the body’s own immune system creates an attack against the GI tract anywhere from the mouth, small intestine, the large intestine, the rectum or the anus. Ulcerative colitis only affects the rectum and the colon. Crohn’s disease generally starts to affect adults when they are between the ages of 16 and 40. Men and women are equally affected. Crohn’s disease can result in patients feeling pain, diarrhea  and  bloating. Ultimately  with  long- standing Crohn’s disease of many years, patients may even develop a stricture that needs surgery. Unfortunately Crohn’s disease can’t be cured, but the symptoms can be managed.

Generally the symptoms of Crohn’s disease can be managed with medicines. The medicines all aim in turning off different parts of the immune system. Medical therapy is the most important aspect of the treatment of Crohn’s disease. At times, surgery is required. You may develop an infection and an abscess (which is a collection of pus around the intestine) where the intestinal fluid or food can’t pass readily. You may have bloating and distention of your abdomen because of this and surgery is required to address these issues. Surgery is usually the last recourse for these patients and timing is critical. Colorectal  surgeons  work closely  with gastroenterologists and medical teams to help you feel better. When surgery is required, it brings tremendous benefits and improvements in your quality-of-life.

The symptoms of ulcerative colitis are bloody diarrhea and abdominal pain. The treatment of ulcerative colitis initially begins with medical therapy. The medications used to treat ulcerative colitis are those which turn off portions of the immune system. Treating the immune system reduces the inflammation of your intestinal track and may make you feel a lot better. Ulcerative colitis differs from Crohn’s disease in that it can be cured with surgery. Occasionally ulcerative colitis causes problems which required the need to remove your colon and rectum. These can include cancer, but most commonly involved the failure of medicines to work to continue to relieve your symptoms. Operations for ulcerative colitis always involve the removal of the rectum and the colon. There are options with how we want to restore the flow of food through your body. Sometimes a permanent Ileostomy is chosen. Other times an ileoanal J pouch is created. The decision to have either a permanent Ileostomy or an ileoanal J pouch is personal and individual. The quality of life however is excellent with either option. Surgery, when is required for ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease can make you feel better and improve your quality of life.

Colon and rectal surgeons are experts in the surgical and nonsurgical treatment of diseases of the colon rectum and anus. We have completed advanced surgical training in the treatment of these diseases as well as full general surgical training and certification.