Ulcerative colitis is a disease characterized by inflammation and sores in the inner lining of the small intestines, rectum, and colon. There is no definite cause of the disease, but the immune system malfunction and genetic factors have been associated with the disease. Some people may try less invasive treatments first and then have surgery later if the disease progresses.
Keep reading to find out more about it and the impact each type of treatment will have on your body and lifestyle.
The signs and symptoms of the disease are:
•Blood in stool
•Fever that lasts more than one day
•Diarrhea that is incurable with over-the-counter drugs
Complications of the disease include:
•Increased risk of colon cancer
Ulcerative colitis is diagnosed using blood tests, colonoscopy, stool sample tests, and imaging tests.
The reasons that necessitate this type of operation are:
•If treatment poses severe side effects to the patient
•Medical treatment fails to work
•If the colon is perforated
There are two types of ulcerative colitis surgery performed to counter the disease. An operation that involves removal of the colon is called colectomy while the one that requires removal of both colon and rectum is referred to as proctocolectomy. When the entire colon is removed, surgeons may create an opening in the abdominal wall after which the tip of the small intestines is attached to the opportunity. An outer bag is attached to the opening for the collection of stool. When both the rectum and colon are removed, a pouch known as a J-pouch is made using the small intestines to serve as the new rectum. The pouch is then connected to the anus to allow passage of stool. The procedure is known as restorative proctocolectomy.
The complications that result from restorative proctocolectomy are:
•Pouch inflammation which is known as pouchitis
•Frequent bowel movement
•Possible pouch failure
The use of antibiotics can reduce Pouchitis. Removal of both colon and rectum removal has been recommended as the ultimate cure for ulcerative colitis. The procedure also removes the risk of developing colon cancer.