Can Surgery Cure Colitis?
- Surgery may be required for ischemic colitis, Crohn's disease, or ulcerative colitis, depending upon the severity of the illness and the response to more conservative non-surgical treatments.
- In ulcerative colitis, removal of the colon cures the disease, but the trend is now to try to control inflammation and minimize the need for surgery. Screening colonoscopy is required for patients with ulcerative colitis, since there is an increased potential for developing colon cancer.
- For some illnesses, usually the part of the colon that is at risk or damaged is removed.
What Follow-Up Care Is Necessary after Being Diagnosed with Colitis?
- Infectious colitis: Infectious colitis it is an isolated event for most people, and once the symptoms and infection have cleared, no further care is needed.
- Inflammatory bowel disease: The goal with inflammatory bowel disease becomes symptom control instead of disease cure, since symptoms can occur over the course of a lifetime. Once the initial diagnosis is made, continued care with a primary care doctor and a gastroenterologist will be necessary. A long-term relationship with this treatment team may be able to lessen the frequency and intensity of future disease flare-ups.
- Ischemic bowel disease: Ischemic colitis does not occur in isolation (meaning there is/are an underlying disease associated with colitis), for example, a person that has poor circulation to the bowel likely has poor circulation elsewhere. Continued monitoring may be necessary to minimize the risk of future episodes. Individuals need to make a lifelong commitment to control high blood pressure (hypertension), high cholesterol, diabetes, and quit smoking.
Last Reviewed 11/20/2017
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