Sooner or later just about every Crohn's patient will require a surgery...about three fourths of all Crohn's patients do. Surgery can become necessary for many reasons. It is possible that there can come a time when medication no longer helps.
A fistula of fissure can cause an obstruction or there can be an internal abscess. Some portion of the intestine can become so diseased that it must be removed. Hopefully none of these things occur but if they do, it is comforting to know that there are surgeries that can help.
One such surgery is Strictureplasty. This is a surgery that is done to help alleviate areas of the intestines that have narrowed to the point of causing an obstruction. A small lengthwise incision is made into the bowel where the stricture has developed. The incision is then pinched closed against itself the short way and closed. It shortens a part of the intestines as it widens the area that was too narrow to allow the waste to pass.
Surgery is performed when a portion of the intestine becomes obstructed and medications are no longer effective. The doctor will remove the diseased portion of the intestines and rejoin the healthy ends of the remaining bowels. If there is too much infection at the time of the surgery to rejoin the ends of the bowel, the doctor my do an ostomy.
The waste can drain outside the body while the infection is cleared up and the ends are rejoined at a later time. An ileostomy is sometimes required. The surgeon removes the colon. He brings the small bowel to the skin so that waste products may be emptied into a pouch attached to the abdomen. If the rectum is diseased and cannot be used, this procedure is needed.
When surgeries of any kind are done on Crohn's patients, the object of the surgeon is to conserve as much of the bowels as possible and to give the patient the best quality of life as is possible.
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