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Inflammatory bowel diseases

The two most common types of inflammatory bowel disease are ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. Together, they afflict an estimated two million people in the U.S. Both diseases cause inflammation and ulcers. In ulcerative colitis, these symptoms occur only in your colon. Crohn’s disease can affect any part of the digestive tract, from the mouth to the anus. However, Crohn’s symptoms most commonly affect the last portion of the small intestine (called the ileum) and/or the large intestine (colon and rectum).

UF pediatric surgeons are experts in treating children with all types of colorectal problems, including ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. Their knowledge of children’s unique needs helps them determine the best way and time to conduct your child’s surgery, and exactly what care your child needs after surgery. When your child is facing surgery, there is no substitute for the care of a dedicated pediatric surgery team.

Ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease both are chronic conditions that can be medically treated to keep them in remission. Remission is a period of time in which a person experiences no symptoms of the disease.

If you have ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease, your doctor likely will prescribe medicines and recommend dietary and lifestyle changes as the first treatment steps.

If these measures prove over a prolonged period of time to be ineffective in managing your condition, you may need surgery to remove all or part of the diseased intestine(s).

Many Crohn’s disease patients need to have only portions of their colon and bowel removed. Many ulcerative colitis patients undergo reconstructive proctocolectomy. This technique involves removing the colon and rectum, then constructing an ileoanal pouch inside your body (using your small bowel) to help you retain continence.

Strictureplasty is a technique which lets a surgeon widen a portion of the bowel that has become narrow due to the damage and scarring caused by Crohn’s disease.

UF surgeons strive to leave as much of a patient’s colon and bowel intact as possible.

Surgical treatment of these diseases often relieves symptoms long-term and frequently limits or eliminates the need for ongoing use of prescribed medications.

Our surgeons also offer surgical treatment for complications of these diseases, such as abscesses and fistulas.