Healthcare: Gastroenterology & Digestive Health

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Patient Information Guide


What is Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)?


Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is a name used to describe a group of disorders created by chronic inflammation of different parts of the intestine.

The most common forms of IBD include Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s Disease. 

Ulcerative Colitis (UC) is a condition in which there is inflammation of the innermost lining of the large intestine (colon) and rectum. Symptoms include diarrhea, abdominal pain, fatigue, weight loss, and/or blood in the stool.  

Crohn’s Disease (CD) is a chronic inflammatory condition of the intestines, which affects the colon and ileum (the last part of the small intestine). Crohn’s Disease is associated with ulcers and fistulae. A fistula is an abnormal connection between a gland or organ in the body and another piece of tissue. An ulcer is a sore in the digestive track that does not heal. Symptoms of Crohn’s Disease are similar to those of ulcerative colitis and include fatigue, fever, weight loss, diarrhea, and/or blood in the stool. 


Know Your Surgical Options


There are a number of surgical options for patients with IBD. Our comprehensive care team will thoroughly review your case in order to provide you the best option and quality of life.

Your treatment plan will be based on a number of factors including—what kind of IBD you have, the severity of your symptoms, what part of the intestines is affected, and the progress and complications associated with your case. 

Surgical Options for Crohn’s Disease

Surgery is a relatively common treatment approach for moderate to severe Crohn’s Disease.  The National Institute of Health reports that between 70% and 90% of patients with Crohn's disease will require surgery during their lifetime.2 
The most common surgeries for this condition include stricturoplasty and resection (enterectomy), but there are other surgical options as well. 

The most common surgeries for this condition include stricturoplasty and resection (enterectomy), but there are other surgical options as well.

  • Stricturoplasty is a procedure to widen any area of the bowel that has narrowed due to the formation of scar tissue where there has been long-term inflammation, irritation, ulcers, or fistulas. 
  • Small Bowel Resection is a surgery in which the part of the small bowel that is diseased and inflamed is removed. The small bowel is also known as the small intestine. 
  • Colectomy is a surgical procedure in which all or part of the colon is removed. The colon is also known as the large intestine. This procedure is often performed to as a preventative measure against the onset of the colon cancer. 
  • Abscess or Fistula Surgery: Sometimes abscesses (pus-filled cavities) and/or fistulas (abnormal tunnels that form between bowel, skin, vagina, bladder or anus) are common in Crohn’s Disease. When fistulas do no respond to medication or other therapies, they can be often be successfully surgically treated.3 There are many surgical options but successful outcome requires careful planning with close collaboration between our multidisciplinary experts. 

Surgical Options for Ulcerative Colitis

  • Restorative Proctocolectomy.  Also known as ileal pouch-anal anastomosis (IPAA), is the most common surgery for the treatment of Ulcerative Colitis. In this procedure, both the colon and rectum are removed using the latest minimally invasive techniques. The ileum (the last part of the small intestine) is formed into a pouch, brought downwards, and connected to the anus. This allows the person to release waste normally after surgery.  The IPAA is the preferred surgical treatment for Ulcerative Colitis as it provides a permanent cure and good quality of life and eliminates the need for an ostomy bag. 
  • Proctocolectomy with Ileostomy. This procedure removes the entire colon and rectum and brings the ileum (the last part of the small intestine) through an opening in the abdominal wall to allow waste removal from the body.  Once the surgery is complete, the person needs to wear an ostomy bag. Our surgeons avoid this procedure wherever possible.