When to Consider Surgery

Learn when surgery is the right option for you.

When to Consider Surgery

By Crohn's Connect Staff Published at September 10 Views 1,557

For many individuals with Crohn’s disease, maintaining a Crohn's-friendly diet and sticking to the treatments prescribed by your physician or gastroenterologist will be enough to keep the worst aspects of the condition at bay. As Crohn's is a lifelong disease, though, many individuals will eventually require surgery to help them mitigate their symptoms. Still, surgery isn't for everyone. In order to ensure that you're as informed as possible when it comes to your treatment, take a look at these points regarding when to consider surgery for Crohn's disease:

To prevent risk of cancer

As an autoimmune condition, Crohn's has the potential to damage the digestive and immune systems, and perhaps make it difficult to receive adequate nutrition. For some individuals, complications from Crohn's disease can also raise their likelihood of developing colorectal cancer, according to the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America. To prevent this elevated cancer risk, surgery to remove part of the colon is sometimes recommended. While you'll likely want to get a second opinion before agreeing to this procedure, it may be the right course for you.

To mitigate immediate risk

Some complications of Crohn's disease can be dealt with over time through carefully structured plans. But other complications could be urgent and may require emergency surgery as soon as possible. Though rare, individuals who have been dealing with Crohn's disease for long periods of time will sometimes have excessive bleeding from their colon. In addition to long-term damage in the colon and digestive tract, the immediate issue of internal bleeding must also be dealt with promptly. If you find that you are experiencing internal bleeding, you may require emergency surgery. In this case, you should immediately contact your primary physician or gastroenterologist or go to the emergency room.

When medication is failing you

Crohn's disease is incurable. As a result, medical science can only offer so much to Crohn’s patients. According to Everyday Health, you may eventually find that your prescribed medication no longer controls your symptoms. In this case, consult with your doctor about changes you can make to ease your symptoms and improve your everyday life. While there will likely be changes made to your medication or diet first, surgery may emerge as the strongest option at some point.

For more on Crohn's treatments:

Should You Participate in a Clinical Trial?
Research Aims To Find the Genetic Causes of IBD
Home Remedies to Reduce Crohn's Disease Flare-Ups

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