- Studies have shown that about 80% of people with Crohn’s disease may need surgery at some point. Many of these studies were done (a long time ago) when there were fewer medical therapies. Surgery in Crohn’s disease can help control the disease and reduce symptoms, but it is not a cure for Crohn’s disease.
- About half of all people who have surgery for Crohn’s disease have their symptoms come back in five years. The most common area for inflammation to return is at the surgical site where the bowel was reconnected. People who have recurrence after surgery are at increased risk for needed additional surgeries. For this reason, most gastroenterologists continue to treat the Crohn’s disease with medicines after surgery to prevent inflammation from coming back.
- One type of surgical procedure for Crohn’s disease is a bowel resection. In this surgery, an inflamed (or narrowed) part of your intestine is removed. In most cases, the intestines can be connected back together during the surgery. Other surgical procedures to treat areas of narrowing, blockages, perforations/tears and perianal Crohn’s disease may be necessary in some patients.
- If your gastroenterologist thinks that you might benefit from surgery, they will refer you to a pediatric surgeon who specializes in surgery for IBD. Your gastroenterologist and your surgeon will work together to determine whether surgery may help you.