Inflammatory bowel disease consists of ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease.
Ulcerative colitis is a diffuse mucosal inflammation limited to the colon while Crohn's disease is a patchy, transmural inflammation that occurs in any part of the gastrointestinal tract.
The ileum and colon are the most frequently affected sites.

Surgical Intervention

Surgical Evaluation for Ulcerative Colitis
  • Surgical resection is considered curative in cases of ulcerative colitis

Absolute Indications

  • Exsanguinating hemorrhage
  • Perforation or impending perforation
    • Persistent colonic dilatation, worsening peritonitis, presence of pneumatosis coli
  • Documented or strongly suspected carcinoma

Other Indications

  • Severe colitis with or without toxic megacolon (dilatation of the transverse colon >6 cm or cecum >9 cm) unresponsive to conventional maximal medical therapy
  • Less severe but medically intractable symptoms, or intolerable medication side effects, or those who fail to show clinical improvement after 3-5 days of medical therapy
  • Patients with chronic UC who develop strictures
  • Growth failure in children despite maximal nutritional and medical therapy

Surgical Options

  • Temporary ileostomy
  • Total proctocolectomy with permanent ileostomy
  • Ileal pouch-anal anastomosis procedure
Surgery for Crohn's Disease
  • Surgery is rarely curative for CD cases because condition may recur, but those who undergo it may have long-lasting remission
  • May be considered if the disease is limited to the distal ileum
  • May also be considered in children or adolescents whose disease have been diagnosed early into the disease, with the disease limited to the distal ileum, with potential growth impairment even with medications, and disease is refractory to conventional therapy


  • Failed medical management, worsening of symptoms or side effects of medication
  • with signs of impending perforations or actual perforations
  • Presence of intestinal strictures or obstructions, or tender abdominal mass
  • Presence of massive hemorrhage
  • Abscess not amenable to percutaneous drainage
  • Presence of perianal, rectovaginal, intestinal small bowel or sigmoid-gynecological fistulas
  • Presence of skin tags, hemorrhoids
Postoperative Recurrence
  • Predictors of early postoperative recurrence include smoking, absence of prophylactic therapy, perianal location, previous intestinal surgery, resected specimen with granulomas, penetrating disease at index surgery
  • Diagnosed by ileocolonoscopy performed within the 1st year following surgery 
  • Prevented with thiopurines, anti-TNFs, high-dose Mesalazine, or imidazole antibiotics
Digital Edition
Asia's trusted medical magazine for healthcare professionals. Get your MIMS Gastroenterology - Malaysia digital copy today!
Editor's Recommendations
Most Read Articles
31 Jul 2017
New drug applications approved by US FDA as of 16 - 31 July 2017 which includes New Molecular Entities (NMEs) and new biologics. It does not include Tentative Approvals. Supplemental approvals may have occurred since the original approval date.