Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory disease that can attack any portion of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, from the mouth to the anus. However, Crohn’s disease most commonly affects the last part of the ileum (small bowel) and where it leads into the ascending colon (large bowel).
Symptoms of Crohn’s disease
Since the entire GI tract can be affected, symptoms from this disease can vary and may include:
- Abdominal pain
- Fistulas (abnormal connection between two body areas)
- Mouth ulcers (sores)
- Perianal abscesses (infection around the anus)
- Severe diarrhea
Surgical treatment for Crohn’s disease
While surgery cannot cure Crohn’s disease, it can treat symptoms and greatly improve your quality of life.
When Crohn’s disease affects the small or large bowel, surgery typically involves removing the affected area of the bowel. Your doctor may recommend surgery for Crohn’s disease if medications have not worked to manage your symptoms or if your Crohn’s disease creates an emergency that needs quick management.
When Crohn’s disease affects the perianal (around the anus) area, surgery typically involves controlling the infections with drainage procedures, placing setons (a small drain to prevent abscesses) or removing the infected tissues.