Font Size

Crohn Disease (cont.)

Crohn's Disease Surgery

Patient Comments

The most widely used operation in Crohn's disease is removing the diseased part of the intestine. Surgery is usually necessary in people who have intestinal obstruction or very severe symptoms that are not relieved by medication. It can improve the condition, but it does not cure it. Surgery also may be necessary for an abscess or certain types of fistula.

People who have part of their bowel removed may require an ostomy. The normal bowel is attached to an opening in the lower abdomen called a stoma. Feces are no longer passed from the body through the rectum and anus, but through this stoma. An ostomy bag is worn on the outside of the body to collect the waste. The ostomy often is called by which part of the bowel is attached, such as colostomy or ileostomy.

Crohn's disease recurs frequently after surgery. If a part of the bowel is removed, the recurrence often occurs at the place where the diseased bowel was cut in the operation. Hence careful follow-up after surgery is important, even when the patient feels well, to detect early signs of recurrence. Patients may have to continue treatment even after surgery to help in reducing the rate of recurrence of Crohn's disease.

People who have part of their small intestine removed may experience a complication known as short bowel syndrome. Ironically, the symptoms of short bowel syndrome often are similar to those of Crohn's disease. This complication is now uncommon with modern surgery.

Patients who have had large portions of their intestine removed often need to rely on intravenous nutrition (total parenteral nutrition, or TPN) for the rest of their lives.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/17/2015
Medical Author:
Medical Editor:
Medical Editor:
Medical Editor:
Medical Reviewer:

Must Read Articles Related to Crohn Disease

Anal Abscess
Anal Abscess Anal abscesses include perirectal abscess and perianal abscess. Both types of abscesses need immediate medical attention. Causes of anal abscesses include indiv...learn more >>
Colitis (Symptoms, Types, and Treatments)
Colitis Colitis is an inflammation of the colon. There are many cause of colitis, infectious colitis (bacterial or viral), ischemic colitis, learn more >>

Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Crohn's Disease:

Crohn's Disease - Symptoms

What symptoms did you experience with your Crohn's disease?

Crohn's Disease - Diagnosis

How was Crohn's disease diagnosed in your case?

Crohn's Disease - Medications

What medications have been successful in treating Crohn's disease symptoms?

Crohn's Disease - Surgery

Please describe your experience with Crohn's disease and surgery.

Crohn's Disease - Experience

Please describe your experience with Crohn's disease.

Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Crohn Disease »

Crohn disease is an idiopathic, chronic, transmural inflammatory process of the bowel that often leads to fibrosis and obstructive symptoms, which can affect any part of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract from the mouth to the anus.

Read More on Medscape Reference »

Medical Dictionary