Crohn’s Disease Surgery: When Is It
Surgery becomes an option for your doctor or specialist when what you are currently doing or the
treatment/medications you are on are no longer doing the job they should.
Also if there has been some kind of complication such as narrowing of the
bowel that can’t be fixed with the likes of medication.
Some of the common reasons one may need surgery or would be considered for surgery by your doctor or specialist are
• Intestinal blockages or obstructions
• If the bowel has been perforated - (has a hole/tear etc)
• If there is a fistula
• If there is an abscess
If you do have any of these problems your doctor may recommend to you that the best course of action is to have a
surgical procedure to correct the problem, as there may be no other solution if that part of the body has bad
scarring or some other kind of complication from Crohn’s Disease.
Having Crohn’s doesn’t mean that you will need Crohn's Disease surgery at some point,
while that is the reality for some people that don’t get the information they need early enough to be able to avoid
surgery all together (me being one).
If you have a blockage in your bowel or a piece of bowel that has bad scarring and needs to be removed, the surgeon
will need to cut out that part of the bowel. He will then rejoin two healthy pieces of bowel back together so it
can heal can function properly again.
Without this damaged piece of bowel removed the bowel will not function properly and continue to cause you
If you have a small stricture in your small intestines and it is causing a problem for food passing through or just
becomes too narrow, then a strictureplasty procedure may be considered.
This is when an incision is made along the length of the stricture, it is then
pulled together and sewn crosswise, shorting the intestine slightly, but widening the narrow part that was causing
This allows things to pass through the intestine without having to remove any of
the small intestines.
If you have a fistula this is when the intestine is connected to another internal organ, such as the bladder. If it
can’t be controlled with medication or other means then it will need to be corrected surgically.
If left untreated the intestine can leak its contents in to other parts of the
body and this can cause infection.
If an abscess doesn’t respond to normal medical treatment it needs to be drained so that it can heal better. The
most common method is needle aspiration.
This is when a hollow needle is put through the skin and in to the abscess, the
needle is then used to draw out the contents on the abscess. The needle also places a wick to help with the
promotion of drainage and healing from the inside.
While Crohn's Disease surgery is necessary in some cases, you can avoid surgery in most cases if
you are willing to make the appropriate life style changes and stick with them.