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Am J Gastroenterol. 2008 Apr;103(4):1029-35. doi: 10.1111/j.1572-0241.2008.01795.x. Epub 2008 Mar 26.

Management of postoperative Crohn's disease.

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  • 1St. Mark's Hospital, Harrow, United Kingdom.


Three-quarters of the patients with Crohn's disease (CD) require surgery involving a resection in the course of their disease. Even if all macroscopically involved bowel is removed, the disease usually recurs proximal to, and at, the anastomosis. This often leads to the recurrent need for treatment of active disease, complications, and reoperation. Ileocolonoscopy has an important place in the assessment of postoperative Crohn's recurrence. The limited available data regarding drug therapy in the postoperative setting suggest that optimal management should include identification of high-risk patients earlier and more widespread use of immunosuppressive therapy than was previously recommended, and colonoscopic monitoring. Such strategies to prevent recurrence then need to be prospectively evaluated. This article examines the evidence for medical prophylaxis of postoperative CD, and proposes a treatment strategy based on current evidence.

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