Inflammatory bowel disease, also sometimes known as IBD, is a term that is usually used to describe two bowel-related conditions: ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. Both of these are chronic conditions that involve the inflammation of the digestive tract. While ulcerative colitis only affects the large intestine, Crohn’s can affect any part of the digestive system, from the mouth to the anus.
It is not known exactly what causes inflammatory bowel disease to develop, but hereditary factors and a compromised immune system are considered to be contributory factors. People who smoke are also considered to be twice as likely to develop the condition.
What are the symptoms of Inflammatory Bowel Disease?
The symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease are not always constant, and many patients fluctuate between having little or no signs of their condition, and extremely exacerbated effects. Some of the most commonly experienced symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease include:
- Recurring or bloody diarrhea
- Painful stomach cramps
- Swollen stomach
- Weight loss
- Extreme lethargy
Some patients may experience fever and chills, vomiting, joint pain and anaemia. However, symptoms can vary widely from patient to patient.
Treating inflammatory bowel disease
Although there is currently no cure for either condition, there are some treatments that aim to relieve the symptoms associated with the conditions. However, many patients who suffer from severe symptoms that don’t improve in this way look to surgery to help them. In ulcerative colitis, this means surgical intervention to remove the inflamed section of the colon. For patients with Crohn’s disease, as many as 75% of patients will require surgery to repair damage to their digestive system.
There are many different surgical options, and which is right for you will depend on which areas of your digestive system require attention. However, many of these surgeries can now be performed laparoscopically.
Laparoscopic surgery for Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Laparoscopic surgery for inflammatory bowel disease is now widely available and has a number of benefits over conventional surgery. In laparoscopic surgery, your surgeon will only need to make a few 1cm incisions into the abdomen to insert the laparoscope, rather than creating one large wound. The laparoscope can then be passed through the incision and into your body, where the video feed will provide accurate visualization for your surgeon.
Smaller incisions heal much faster, and they are less likely to develop problems, and they are less painful for the patient to deal with during the recovery process, meaning less reliance on analgesic medications. Patients who chose laparoscopic surgery find that they can come home much quicker after their surgery, have a better recovery period, and can get back to their usual routine much faster.
Am I a suitable candidate for inflammatory bowel disease surgery?
Before you can be approved for any surgical procedure, laparoscopic or otherwise, it will first be necessary for you to attend a consultation appointment with your choice of surgeon. This provides an opportunity for him to meet with you, assess your condition, and make a recommendation based on this information.
If you are suffering from inflammatory bowel disease and would like to know more about how surgery can help you to manage your condition better, arrange a consultation appointment with Laparoscopic Surgical Center of New York today at 646-859-1400.