Crohns Disease Surgery.

Crohns Disease surgery. Are you the right candidate? Are you going for ileostomy, resection or strictureplasty? How to prepare for Crohn's surgery?

Crohns Disease surgery was offered to you as your Crohns treatment. What is your next step?

Take a breath and learn all you can about the procedure. The more you know, the more you will able to handle all the problems that come as a surprise later.

Crohn’s disease can be very complicated to treat. It gets more difficult when Crohns patients are misdiagnosed with Ulcerative colitis, IBS or other GI disorders.

The treatment protocol is very similar for most patients diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. The conventional or traditional treatment mostly includes medications. Some doctors go an extra step and recommend some non-traditional herbal, homeopathic or nutritional therapies. And some doctors would even recommend joining support groups for psychological help.

Crohns surgery is offered to those patients who don’t respond to most traditional medications and treatments including Prednisone, Humira, antibiotics, Remicade, etc. Surgery may be needed when Crohns medications cause very serious side effects for some patients and there is no other treatment plan left for them. Sometimes complications are developed like abscesses, obstructions or fistulas and the surgery is the only option.

There is no cure for Crohn’s disease and surgery is left as a last resort of Crohns treatment. Crohns surgery doesn’t guarantee full remission. But many patients feel much better afterwards. Crohns Disease surgery may need to be repeated in many cases. Even if the diseased portion of the intestine is removed, the inflammation can reappear in an unaffected portion of the intestine.

Crohns surgery may be necessary when you have:

  • Bowel obstruction (blockage).
  • Fissures (tears) or abscesses (puss-filled tender masses) in the anal area or when fistulas (abnormal passages) form between two parts of the intestine or between the intestine and other organs in the abdomen. Abscesses may be surgically drained. Fistulas are mostly treated with medications. Surgery will follow if these treatments are not enough and the condition gets worse.
  • Toxic megacolon (dilation and loss of muscle tone in the colon).
  • Perforations (holes) in the large intestine. Sometimes Crohns disease surgery is done as an emergency treatment in acute situations (emergency cases). For example, this situation can happen in the case of sepsis, septic colon, uncontrollable bleeding, etc. Crohns surgery is the only solution in these cases.
My passion is to help anyone not to get to the point when Crohns surgery is necessary.

The recovery after Crohns surgery is very difficult and long. A lot of times Crohn’s disease patients will have ileostomy as their surgery. Taking care of it and living with it is a very tough part.

Crohns surgery will usually take hours because of it complexity. The surgeon may remove a part of the intestine or even a very large part of the affected colon.

Types of Crohns Disease Surgery:

  • Resection: The affected portion of the intestines is removed, and the healthy ends of the intestine are reattached. This type of surgery will often need to be repeated.
  • Strictureplasty: Strictures are the narrowing of the intestines. The gastroenterologist-surgeon makes a lengthwise cut in the intestine and then sews it crosswise. This can make the intestine wider and can help with bowel obstruction. This type of surgery may be done at the same time as resection or when a person has had resection in the past. This type of Crohns Disease surgery is the first choice when the surgeon is trying to save as much of the intestinal tissue as possible.
  • Proctocolectomy and ileostomy: The gastroenterologist-surgeon removes the rectum and the large intestine, leaving the lower end of the small intestine (the ileum). The anus is sewn closed, and a small opening called a stoma is made in the skin of the lower abdomen. The ileum is then connected to the stoma (a hole in the abdominal wall) creating an opening to the outside of the body where stool empties into a small plastic pouch called an ostomy bag. The ostomy bag is applied to the skin around the stoma. An outside bag must be worn over the opening to collect the waste, and it must be emptied several times a day. Patients can wear normal clothing with some minimal adjustments. It’s unnoticeable and no one can tell you have on an ostomy bag unless you tell them.

There is a non-surgical procedure called balloon dilation. It’s used to dilate the narrowed part of the intestine. It is a relatively new technique and will have to be researched more. This kind of procedure may be done when the surgeon is trying to put off a more complicated surgery for a while.

The preparation for Crohns Disease surgery is very similar to other surgeries:

  • No food for at least 24 hours prior to surgery.
  • No drinking for at least 8 hours prior to surgery.
  • Stop medications that can cause bleeding like Coumadin(warfarin), Aspirin, herbs like Ginko, etc.

The recovery usually lasts for weeks. During this time most patients will receive antibiotics, anti-inflammatory medications and pain relievers. Some pain relievers can cause constipation. That’s why it’s recommended to take Colace (a stool softener) to prevent or treat mild constipation. If constipation becomes severe, this should be discussed with your doctor. He or she may change that pain medication or add a laxative for constipation.

crohns disease surgery picture

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The simple things to remember before going through with Crohn's Disease surgery:

  • Be very choosy about your doctor-surgeon. Look for someone with great recommendations and board certifications.
  • Pay attention to how attentive this doctor is to you. The heeling process is a very complex combination of physical and psychological harmony. A Positive attitude from your surgeon may improve your healing.
  • Write down all the important information the surgeon will tell you before the operation. Chances are you will not remember much after the surgery. Finally, do not refuse help or support from family or friends. Great support may play a huge role in the success of your overall healing process.

Unfortunately, statistics shows that Crohn's disease surgery needs to be repeated in many cases. I am a big believer in adding natural treatments to conventional therapies to possibly change those statistics. I hope that no one would have to go through Crohns Disease surgery. And if they do, let’s hope it’s a very successful one.

Some surgeries can be done on children. They can improve a child’s quality of life and their development. But I would still look into holistic and safe cleansing methods for children as an addition to the healing process.

In very rare cases, an intestinal transplant as an intestinal surgery can be used to treat Crohns patients. That’s when donated intestines will replace the diseased portion or the whole intestine.

Many Crohns disease patients are doing very well after surgery. About fifty percent of adult patients will have returning Crohns symptoms within five years after having resection. And half of those patients will need another surgery.

Why would these patients need another surgery sooner or later? My guess (it’s only my guess and not supported by medical studies) is that once patients feel wonderful and most of the time they are encouraged by their doctors to continue with a regular diet, they eat anything and most of them do not take nutritional supplements, herbal therapies, detox products, etc.

I really think that Crohn’s Disease patients should be strict with their diet. We should not restrict ourselves completely. But we need to follow an appropriate diet for each nutritional type. Keep journals of what you eat and monitor what makes you get worse and what has a beneficial effect. This is the best thing that you can do for yourself. Try to learn how your body reacts to certain foods and figure out what works for you.

Diet is one of the most important parts of your health.

I wish you all the best.

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