- People with ulcerative colitis may need surgery to remove their colon (called a colectomy). In a colectomy, the large intestine/colon is removed. The end of the healthy small intestine is turned into a “pouch” that eventually acts like a new rectum. This is attached to the anus and is called an ileal pouch anal anastomosis (or IPAA surgery). Some people need two or three surgeries to complete this while others can have just one surgery.
- A colectomy usually stops the active symptoms of ulcerative colitis. Immediately after IPAA surgery, some people may have not have control of their bowel movements temporarily. This may cause you to have a bowel movement every time you urinate (for a little while).
- Some people who have IPAA surgery can develop inflammation in the new ileal pouch. This can lead to pain, bloody stools and urgency. This is called “pouchitis” and is usually treated with antibiotics, probiotics and sometimes anti-inflammatory medicines.
- Some people may need to have surgery on an urgent basis for significant bleeding. However, most people have time to decide about surgery.
- 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.
This document is intended to provide health related information so that you may be better informed. It is not a substitute for a doctor's medical advice and should not be relied upon for treatment for specific medical conditions.