Crohn’s Disease

What is Crohn’s disease?

Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory condition involving the lining, muscular layer and outer layer of the intestine. It may strike at any part in the intestinal tract though is most commonly seen where the small intestine joins the large intestine in the right lower portion of the abdomen. The disease cannot be cured surgically and is most commonly managed medically. When the inflammation results in blockage of the intestine, abscesses, fistula formation, or malnutrition, surgical intervention may be required. Crohn’s disease of the anus and rectum must be individualized on a case by case basis.

The most common surgery for Crohn’s disease involves removing the obviously diseased bowel and reconnecting the remaining ends of intestine. If severe infection is present a temporary ileostomy or colostomy may be required. In patients with longstanding Crohn’s disease who do not have active inflammation, but have narrowing of the bowel due to scarring a procedure known as a stricturoplasty can be carried out which relieves the narrowing without requiring the removal of any bowel. Hospital stay and operative instructions are similar to those from small and large bowel resections for conditions other than Crohn’s disease.

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