Inflammatory Bowel Disease Surgeries

Patients with Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis require meticulously coordinated care from their surgeons and gastroenterologists. Virtually all patients are candidates for new medications, research protocols and recently developed surgical procedures that contribute to disease remission or cure and improved quality of life. Care of patients with inflammatory bowel disease, therefore, is ideally delivered in a team setting, such as that available at Virginia Mason.

Surgical Procedures for Crohn's Disease
Most patients with Crohn's disease eventually require surgical intervention. Pain, intestinal obstruction, bleeding, fistula formation and anal infections are frequent. Patients may not respond to the best medical treatment and thus may need surgical intervention. The gastrointestinal-surgery team at Virginia Mason has performed hundreds of operations on patients with Crohn's disease. State-of-the-art techniques include procedures that permit resection of only minimal amounts of intestine, or even avoid removal of any bowel. Patients with severe anal infections are offered newer techniques that preserve continence and avoid colostomies.

Ulcerative Colitis
The surgical team at Virginia Mason has performed in excess of 400 ileal-pouch procedures (i.e., the ileal-anal reservoir) in patients with severe ulcerative colitis. This procedure avoids the need for an ileostomy and cures the disease. Data accumulated from our center has documented that quality of life improves markedly after this procedure. See the Relevant Publications section for references.

Image: IBD average length of stay