Surgical management of inflammatory bowel disease
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Surgery continues to be a central component in the treatment of patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The most important aspect of caring for patients with IBD is a close and ongoing interaction between the surgeon and gastroenterologist both before and after surgery. Surgery in patients with chronic ulcerative colitis (CUC) is curative. In the appropriate patient, we recommend proctocolectomy with ileal pouch anal anastomosis (IPAA). In contrast, patients with Crohn’s disease cannot be cured with surgery. Instead, surgery is used in conjunction with maximal medical therapy to treat symptoms of the disease and improve the patient’s quality of life. Surgical interventions should be limited in scope. Small bowel disease should be treated with either limited resection or strictureplasty, if possible, to conserve bowel length. For limited involvement of the colon, segmental resection yields good results. Minimal surgical intervention, drainage of abscesses, placing draining setons, and aggressive medical therapy is recommended as treatment of perianal Crohn’s disease.
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