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Ulcerative Colitis Surgery

Understanding Various Types Of Surgery For Ulcerative Colitis

Considering Ulcerative Colitis Surgery is a major decision. It is very important to become thoroughly informed as to whether to have the surgery or not and understand what each surgery entails. I am giving you brief descriptions of the different kinds of surgeries, some YouTube videos I picked out to give you more information, a list of pros and cons and a brief paragraph about recovery. This page will give you a starting point to help you understand the different types of Ulcerative Colitis surgeries so you can do more research online. Picking out the right surgeon is very important too, so make sure you thoroughly vet them by checking out reviews and talking to other patients online in forums. Pay attention to any negative reviews.

Ulcerative colitis surgery can be an effective way of dealing with this inflammatory bowel disease. There are different types of surgery for Ulcerative Colitis with each one having its own pros and cons. Surgeons recommend one type of surgery over another after carrying out various assessments and coming up with the most ideal solution for the patient.

A common Ulcerative Colitis surgery is called a proctocolectomy, entails a qualified surgeon removing all of the large intestine (colon) and rectum. Then the surgeon attaches the lower part of the small intestine to a hole or stoma that is made in the patient’s torso. This allows waste to leave the patient’s body into an external bag. There is also a different type of procedure in which waste is not emptied in an external bag but rather makes use of an internal pouch which allows waste to easily pass through to the anus. There are a couple variations of those surgeries.

When is Ulcerative Colitis Surgery Necessary

A doctor may recommend surgery after a period of examination or to deal with an emerging complication. As you may be aware this condition is chronic in nature and features flare ups in which the patient may become extremely affected. One of the situations that may force a doctor to call for surgery is when inflammation or ulcers are not being controlled effectively by the use of medication. Another situation that may necessitate surgery is when there is development of UC complications such as tears on the colon walls or severe bleeding. There are also a number of people that settle for surgery because their symptoms make it too difficult for them to remain productive in life.

Patients that go through surgery experience a lot of relief with some fully regaining their normal capabilities. Surgery eliminates most of the symptoms that are associated with the condition. Another benefit of surgery is that it enables women to feel more relaxed and confident about themselves. Keep in mind that some of the things that may make life unbearable for individuals with this condition include diarrhea, painful sex, inability to control bowel movements, foul odors and bleeding. It is important to point out that individuals who have this condition for over 8 years are more likely to get colon cancer as compared to those who do not have the condition. Surgery eliminates the risk of developing growths that may further complicate the health of the patient inquestion. Below are the various types of surgery that a patient may have to go through.

To understand this surgery it is important for you to realize that proctocolectomy is a term that is used to refer to the surgical removal of the entire colon. Ileum on the other hand is a term that is used to refer to the lower part of the small intestine. Ileostomy is a surgical hole that is created to allow for temporary or permanent elimination of waste from the body.

Proctocolectomy with ileal pouch-anal anastomosis

Having that in mind it is important to note that Proctocolectomy with ileal-anal anastomosis is by far the most commonly prescribed operation when it comes to dealing with UC. This is because it does not make use of an external pouch or appliance. After this procedure individuals are able to experience normal bowel movements because the nerves and muscles that are necessary for the process are left intact. In most cases the procedure is completed in two different stages.

It is during the first stage of surgery that the rectum and the large intestine are carefully removed. This provides the patient with some form of relief from symptoms such as pain in the abdomen and bleeding. It is worth noting that the anus and sphincter muscles are left in place. The ileum is then designed in a S, W or J-pouch before being pulled down and getting connected to the anus. It is also at this point that surgeons are likely to create a temporary hole capable of diverting stool away from the pouch is created in the abdomen. This makes it possible for waste to be eliminated through the hole and into an external bag which is usually referred to as an Ostomy bag. Surgeons do this because it takes a significant amount of time before the wound formed during the procedure can fully heal.

Three months after the initial surgery patient’s are required to undergo the second stage of the procedure because the previous wounds have already healed. At this time surgeons reconnect the small intestine in such a way that normal continuity of the bowel is established again. The internal pouch starts working as an internal reservoir for waste thus allowing normal bowel movement and elimination through the anus. There is no longer a need for the hole in the abdomen which is why doctors close it up.

Continent Ileostomy

Although the procedure is rarely used it is still part of the surgeries that may be undertaken to rectify the problems that are caused by UC. Doctors may recommend this operation for patients that do not want to continue using an ostomy bag. During this procedure the surgeon removes the rectum and colon before creating a reservoir or kock pouch in the small intestine. This holding place or reservoir stores waste before finally being emptied through a valve in the abdomen.

Total proctocolectomy with end ileostomy

In this procedure doctors usually bring the end of the small intestine through a hole created in the abdominal wall. This makes it possible for waste to be drained through the hole. The stoma usually protrudes slightly and appears pink in color. After this procedure doctors require the individual to wear an ostomy bag at all times as this is the best way to avoid creating a mess. The bag is part of a pouching system that also includes a skin barrier. In most of the procedures that are undertaken the artificial hole is created just below the belt line. The ostomy bag must be emptied several times each day.

Pros and Cons of Ulcerative Colitis Surgery

Individuals that are considering getting any of the procedures noted above are advised to gauge both the advantages and disadvantages that are involved before they make up their mind. Here are just some of the pros and cons of UC surgery.

Pros of Ulcerative Colitis Surgery

One of the most important advantages of this procedure is that it greatly reduces the chances of development of colon cancer. Keep in mind that people who have this condition are often at a great risk of developing cancerous cells.

After successfully completing surgery patients are able to regain some level of self-confidence. This can be an ideal advantage because it allows individuals to better relate with other people. It also makes it possible for people to pursue their own life goals without constantly looking down on themselves.

Living with Ulcerative Colitis has been noted as being a great impediment to fulfilling sexual life. Most of the people with this condition are unable to enjoy sex. By going through surgery an individual becomes better at sexual performance. They also stop worrying about issues that may dampen the sexual experience.

Because of the painful or uncomfortable symptoms that arise during flare ups of the condition a lot of people end up becoming less productive. Most are unable to focus on their professional obligations. However, after the surgery a lot of symptoms are eliminated making it possible for such people to continue working like every other member of the workforce.

Cons of Ulcerative Colitis Surgery

One of the downsides to surgery is that it may not be affordable to everyone. Those who are dealing with financial constraints may have to save up for quite a while before they can afford the procedure.

Because some of these procedures involve the use of an external bag it may be quite a daunting task when it comes to ensuring hygiene. It may be necessary for an individual with an external ostomy bag to take frequent breaks just to be able to empty the bag. This inconvenience can lead to poor performance at work or in school.

Complications of ulcerative colitis surgeries are also among the things that may arise during or after the particular procedure has been performed. Some of these complications may reverse gains made while others may end up making life even more difficult for the individual.

The next disadvantage of having this surgery is that the patient may have to carry along a pelvic pouch all the time. Not only is this uncomfortable but it also makes it difficult for the individual to perform certain tasks.

Complications of Ulcerative Colitis Surgery

Once an individual has gone through surgery there are a number of complications that may arise. Some people end up having frequent bowel movements. The type of stool they pass is often watery. There are also people who may experience inflammation of the pouch. Another complication may regard blockage of the intestine. This usually occurs if there is a build up of scar tissues that are referred to as adhesion. Pouch failure is also a problem that occurs in 4 out of every 100 people that go through surgery.

Life after Ulcerative Colitis surgery

The recovery time ulcerative colitis surgery may vary depending on a number of factors. However, most people can return to normal activity after 12 weeks. Some of the things that may affect the duration of time include type of surgery, underlying complications, general health of the individual, accessibility to emergency health centers and the type of diet that an individual consumes. Doctors often give advice on the things that one should do to guarantee quick and safe recovery.

At the start of recovery most people tend to get about 10 to 12 bowel movements each day. The stool they pass is often soft or liquid in nature. It is equally true that most people may experience leakage of stool. After some time the pouch grows in size and the muscles involved in bowel movement become stronger again. This gradually reduces the urgency with which an individual passes stool. It also reduces the frequency of bowel movement.

While at recovery stage there is no strict dietary restriction. However, patients are advised to ensure that they chew everything they eat thoroughly. They must avoid foods that may cause gas, diarrhea and anal irritation. Individuals are encouraged to drink plenty of healthy fluids including water and natural fruit juices. Individuals can engage in fulfilling sexual activity after the surgery. This is made possible because there are no longer any painful sensations, uncontrollable leakages and inflammation.

Success Rate for Ulcerative Colitis Surgery

Because surgery is the best way to treat this condition about 23% to 45% of people opt for it. The success rate for surgery is quite high which is why a lot of people settle for it as a solution.

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