You feel like you’re living under a constant threat of digestive issues — you can go months feeling great, but you also know that diarrhea and abdominal cramping are lurking somewhere in the shadows, waiting to strike.
If this sounds familiar, it’s a good bet that you’re dealing with an inflammatory bowel disease, such as Crohn’s disease. As the 1.6 million Americans who deal with these conditions can tell you, it’s important to have a good colorectal team in your corner, as complications and symptoms can be challenging.
In the following, we provide an overview of Crohn’s disease — what it is, some of the more common side effects, and how surgical management can play an important role.
Crohn’s disease describes a condition in which there’s inflammation in your gastrointestinal (GI) tract, which stretches from your mouth to your anus.
While Crohn’s can develop anywhere along your GI tract, it often affects the ileum, which is the connection point between your small intestine and your large bowel (colon).
The first thing to understand about Crohn’s disease is that it flares and then goes into remission, creating cycles of symptoms. When there’s a flare-up, you can experience:
Crohn’s can also lead to side effects beyond the GI tract, such as fatigue, weight loss, joint pain, eye redness, and mouth ulcers.
It’s also important to note that no two people experience the same exact symptoms or timelines — you may have moderate symptoms that develop once a year or severe symptoms that develop each month.
Here at our practice, our experienced surgical team is skilled in remedying the often painful and serious complications of Crohn’s disease. For example, if you develop an anal fistula, surgery is the best solution, and we are well-versed in the many different techniques for closing off a fistula to prevent more problems.
In addition to anal fistulas, other complications associated with Crohn’s disease include:
Again, our team of colorectal surgical experts are well versed in each of these issues and we’re here to help resolve them.
If medications and trigger management fall short or no longer work in relieving your symptoms, you may want to consider surgical management. Depending upon your needs, we can turn to bowel resection and/or bypass to address the diseased sections of your bowel.
While this is a proactive approach, surgery may become necessary if you develop a bowel obstruction, bowel perforation, or intestinal bleeding, all of which are risks when you have Crohn’s disease.
Rest assured, as colorectal surgical specialists, our team stays abreast of the latest science, and we use the most advanced technologies to perform your surgery.
So, if you’re dealing with diarrhea, cramping, and all of the other side effects that are associated with Crohn’s disease, and you’re not responding to conservative measures, it’s time to come see us.
To get started, please contact one of our offices in Fairfax, Fair Oaks, Alexandria, Gainesville, Woodbridge, or Lansdowne, Virginia, to schedule an appointment.