Crohn's Disease Surgery

Abscesses and Fistulas
An abscess is an infected area filled with pus, while a fistula is an abnormal, infected tunnel that may go from the intestines to other organs, such as the bladder, vagina, or skin. It may also go into the abdomen. Approximately one in four adults with Crohn's disease have fistulas or abscesses.
An abscess must be drained in order for it to heal. At first, a needle may be guided into the area with the help of a CT scan. This is known as needle aspiration. If this is not successful, healthcare providers may recommend surgery to drain the abscess or even remove the infected portion of bowel.
Doctors often treat a fistula with medication, but surgery may be required if the infection spreads or if the fistula does not respond to medicines.

Things to Consider Before Having Surgery

Unlike ulcerative colitis (which is another type of inflammatory bowel disease), where surgery is often curative, Crohn's disease often returns after surgery. Therefore, people considering surgery should carefully weigh its benefits and risks compared with other treatments for Crohn's disease. Surgery may not be appropriate for everyone.
People faced with this decision should get as much information as possible from:
  • Doctors
  • Nurses who work with colon surgery patients (enterostomal therapists)
  • Other patients.

Crohn's Disease Information

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