Surgical Options for IBD
Most people think of surgery as a “last resort.” However, surgery can be an important part of treating both Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. In fact, a large proportion of IBD patients will require surgery at some point during their illness.
Occasionally, a patient will need surgery on an urgent or emergency basis to remove the bowel or correct other problems related to IBD.
In most cases, however, an operation is used to supplement the medical treatments that are available. Surgery is best used in conjunction with medical therapy, and in selected cases, surgery may best be used early in the course of the disease.
IBD Surgical Goals
The goals for IBD surgery include:
- Reducing or resolving symptoms
- Improving general health
- Improving nutritional status, growth and sexual development
- Preserving as much bowel as possible
If IBD surgery is recommended for your child, you should discuss this decision with the entire health team, which usually consists of multiple specialists that may include a pediatric gastroenterologist, pediatric surgeon, nurse practitioner, nutritionist, and psychologist.