Send to

Choose Destination
Semin Gastrointest Dis. 2000 Jan;11(1):41-51.

The long-term results of resection and multiple resections in Crohn's disease.

Author information

Department of Surgery, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia 19104-4283, USA.


Crohn's disease is a panenteric, transmural inflammatory disease of unknown origin. Although primarily managed medically, 70% to 90% of patients will require surgical intervention. Surgery for small bowel Crohn's is usually necessary for unrelenting stenotic complications of the disease. Fistula, abscess, and perforation can also necessitate surgical intervention. Most patients benefit from resection or strictureplasty with an improved quality of life and remission of disease, but recurrence is common and 33% to 82% of patients will need a second operation, and 22% to 33% will require more than two resections. Short-bowel syndrome is unavoidable in a small percentage of Crohn's patients because of recurrent resection of affected small bowel and inflammatory destruction of the remaining mucosa. Although previously a lethal and unrelenting disease with death caused by malnutrition, patients with short-bowel syndrome today can lead productive lives with maintenance on total parenteral nutrition (TPN). This lifestyle, however, does not come without a price. Severe TPN-related complications, such as sepsis of indwelling central venous catheters and liver failure, do occur. Future developments will focus on more powerful and effective anti-inflammatory medication specifically targeting the immune mechanisms responsible for Crohn's disease. Successful medical management of the disease will alleviate the need for surgical resection and reduce the frequency of short-bowel syndrome. Improving the efficacy of immunosuppression and the understanding of tolerance induction should increase the safety and applicability of small-bowel transplant for those with short gut. Tissue engineering offers the potential to avoid immunosuppression altogether and supplement intestinal length using the patient's own tissues.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center