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Gastroenterol Clin North Am. 1999 Jun;28(2):371-90, viii-ix.

Surgical therapy for ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease.

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Department of Surgery, Boston University School of Medicine, Massachusetts, USA.


Over the past 2 decades there has been considerable progress in the surgical management of inflammatory bowel disease. Crohn's disease is a chronic, nonspecific inflammatory disease of the gastrointestinal tract of unknown cause. It involves mainly the ileum, colon, and rectum, most often producing symptoms of obstruction or localized perforation with fistula. Although surgical treatment is palliative, operative excision in combination with strictureplasty, where appropriate, provides effective symptomatic relief and reasonable long-term benefit. Chronic ulcerative colitis is a diffuse inflammatory disease of the mucosal lining of the colon and rectum. Total removal of the colon and rectum provides a complete cure. Newer surgical alternatives, developed over the last 2 decades, have eliminated the need for a permanent ileostomy following definitive resection of the involved colon and rectum.

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