Crohn's Disease (cont.)
IN THIS ARTICLE
Surgery is rarely done for Crohn's disease and it is not a cure. When surgery is needed, as little of the intestines as possible is removed to preserve normal function. The disease tends to return in areas that were previously not affected, and you may need surgery again.
Surgery may be needed for Crohn's disease if no medicine can control your symptoms, if you have serious side effects from medicines, if your symptoms can be controlled only with long-term use of corticosteroids, or if you develop complications.
Surgery is not usually done for Crohn's disease. If you do have surgery, it will most likely be one of the following:
Another procedure that may be done is balloon dilation. This is not a surgery. The doctor runs an endoscope through your intestines from your anus. The endoscope is a long, thin tube that has a video camera on the end. Next, the doctor uses the endoscope to thread an uninflated balloon across the stricture (the narrowed part of the intestine). When the balloon is inflated, it makes that part of the intestine wider. The balloon is deflated and then removed. Balloon dilation is a new technique and not as much is known about its long-term success compared to the surgical procedures listed above. Balloon dilation might be done if you want to put off a more complicated surgery for a while or if you have had surgery before and the doctor wants to save as much of the intestines as possible.
What To Think About
These surgeries can be done on children. Surgery can improve a child's well-being and quality of life and restore normal growth and sexual development.
In rare cases, intestinal transplant is used to treat Crohn's disease. In this complex procedure, the small intestine is removed and replaced with the small intestine of a person who has recently died and donated his or her organs.
eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise
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