Crohn’s Disease Surgery

Abdominal pain patient woman having medical exam with doctor
Crohn's disease, a type of inflammatory bowel disease, medically illustration
If you have tried other treatments for Crohn’s disease and they have not been effective, your specialist may suggest surgery. You may also need surgery for Crohn’s disease if you are treated in an emergency (such as a blockage or bowel tear). Although Crohn’s disease cannot be cured, surgery can treat symptoms that may greatly improve your quality of life.

Two types of Crohn’s disease can require surgery:

Abdominal Crohn’s disease operations

Abdominal Crohn’s disease surgery targets the small bowel or colon. During the procedure, your surgeon will remove the diseased portion of your small bowel or colon and reconnect the healthy tissue, if appropriate. Depending on the location of the diseased tissue, your surgeon can perform this surgery either laparoscopically (using small incisions) or using a larger incision to access the abdomen. Together, you and your surgeon will discuss which approach is best for your condition.

Perianal Crohn’s disease operations

Perianal Crohn’s disease procedures involve addressing conditions affecting the anus and the surrounding areas, including strictures, abscesses and fistulas. Sometimes to relieve symptoms, these conditions only require an incision to drain infected fluid. In those cases, your doctor can perform this surgery on an outpatient basis, and you can go home the same day. However, if your condition requires a more extensive procedure for advanced Crohn’s disease, you may be admitted to the hospital for surgery and stay there to recover.