Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) primarily consists of ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, where inflammation and ulceration develop in the gastrointestinal tract. If you have IBD symptoms, visit one of the Sacramento Colon and Rectal Surgery Medical Group offices in Sacramento, Roseville, or Carmichael, California. The practice’s expert surgeons have extensive experience treating IBD, including using advanced techniques to remove severely affected tissue. Call your nearest office to arrange an IBD assessment or schedule a consultation online today.
The two primary conditions under the umbrella of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.
These conditions have many similarities. Both involve inflammation in the gut lining that leads to digestive problems and pain. However, ulcerative colitis doesn’t spread beyond the rectum and colon (large bowel), whereas Crohn’s disease can affect any part of the gastrointestinal tract.
IBD is caused by a malfunction in your immune system. Instead of only targeting harmful microorganisms like viruses and bacteria, in someone with IBD, the immune system attacks healthy cells in the gut lining.
Why this happens isn’t clear, but genetic influences and environmental factors could be at work.
IBD symptoms may include:
Some symptoms typically only affect people with one form of IBD.
For example, people with ulcerative colitis are most likely to experience tenesmus (an uncontrollable urge to push even when the rectum is empty) and fecal incontinence (an inability to retain stools in time to reach a toilet). Skin problems, joint pain, and other symptoms unrelated to digestion can also develop.
Complications from Crohn’s disease include fistulas — abnormal channels between the bowel and other pelvic organs, such as the bladder or vagina. You may also develop abscesses in your abdomen.
Many patients manage IBD successfully with medications, but some don’t get any relief or develop complications such as colorectal cancer that require surgery. You might also require urgent surgery if you suffer from a life-threatening IBD complication like toxic megacolon.
Sacramento Colon and Rectal Surgery Medical Group uses minimally invasive laparoscopic techniques and/or robotic surgery where possible to minimize tissue damage and speed up recovery.
Surgery for IBD might involve repairing fistulas and treating abscesses. Some patients require surgery to remove the entire colon and rectum. Your surgeon creates a J-shaped pouch using part of your small intestine, then attaches it to the anal area.
The J-pouch technique avoids needing a permanent stoma — an open access point for a colostomy bag that collects waste. You need a temporary stoma after surgery, but once the J-pouch heals, your surgeon removes the stoma, and you go back to passing stools through your anus.
If you develop IBD symptoms, visit the experienced surgeons at Sacramento Colon and Rectal Surgery Medical Group for an expert diagnosis and effective treatment. Call the office nearest you to schedule an appointment or reach out online.