Crohn Disease FAQs (cont.)
IN THIS ARTICLE
Is there a treatment for Crohn's disease?
There are medical and surgical treatments for Crohn's disease, but there is no cure. The goals of treatment are to relieve symptoms, prevent complications, and maintain good nutrition. The medications used to control Crohn's disease work by reversing the inflammation. A number of different medications are used. Some block a chemical reaction that causes inflammation; others "turn down" the immune system so it does not react so strongly. Medications also may be given to relieve symptoms in the short term.
Will I have to have surgery for Crohn's disease?
Surgery is usually necessary only for people who have intestinal blockage or very severe symptoms that are not relieved by medication. It involves having a section of the intestine removed. This can improve Crohn's disease, but it does not cure it. Often, Crohn's disease comes back after surgery. Surgery also may be necessary for an abscess or certain types of fistula.
If I have surgery, will I have to wear a "bag"?
People who have part of their bowel removed rarely require an ostomy. In cases in which an ostomy is required, because the remaining bowel is so much shorter than the normal bowel, or because there is severe infection in the abdomen and the bowel cannot be reconnected right away, it 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.
Usually, only a resection is performed, without a bag.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/25/2016
Sandeep Mukherjee, MD, MB, BCh
BS Anand, MD
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