Surgery for Ulcerative Colitis

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Quick GuideUlcerative Colitis Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

Ulcerative Colitis Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

What Are the Benefits of Ulcerative Colitis Surgeries?

If the entire colon is removed, ulcerative colitis is cured. This should put an end to the diarrhea, abdominal pains, anemia, and other symptoms.

In addition, the surgical procedures prevent colon cancer. Overall, an estimated 5% of ulcerative colitis patients will develop cancer. The elimination of the colon cancer threat is especially significant for people who have ulcerative colitis that affects the entire colon. In these cases, as opposed to cases of ulcerative colitis that affects only the lower colon and the rectum, the cancer risk without surgery could be up to 32 times the normal rate.

What Are the Complications of Ulcerative Colitis Surgeries?

Complications from ileoanal anastomosis may include:

  • More frequent and more watery bowel movements
  • Inflammation of the pouch (pouchitis)
  • Blockage of the intestine (bowel obstruction) from internal scar tissue, called adhesions, caused by surgery
  • Pouch failure, which happens in about 8% to 10% of patients with IPAA
  • If the pouch fails, the patient will need to have a permanent ileostomy.

WebMD Medical Reference

National Digestive Diseases Information Clearing House: "Ulcerative Colitis."
Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America: "Surgery for Ulcerative Colitis."
American Society of Colon & Rectal Surgeons: "Ulcerative Colitis."
Reviewed by Kimball Johnson, MD on August 03, 2012

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