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Gastroenterol Hepatol (N Y). 2010 Sep;6(9):587-96.

Efficacy and complications of surgery for Crohn's disease.

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Dr. Lewis is a resident in the Department of Surgery in the University of Pennsylvania Health System in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.


Patients with Crohn's disease commonly undergo surgery during their lifetime. Indications for surgical intervention include obstruction, intra-abdominal or perianal abscess, enterocutaneous fistulas, and complex perianal disease. As medical therapies continue to improve, it is important that surgical therapies are chosen carefully. This is particularly important in the treatment of perianal fistulas; combined surgical and medical therapy offer the best chance for success. In the treatment of small-bowel disease, bowel preservation is key. For the repair of short strictures, endoscopic dilatation is the preferred method when accessible; strictureplasty has been shown to be safe and effective for increasingly longer segments of disease. Intra-abdominal abscesses should be drained percutaneously, if possible. In the presence of colonic disease, segmental resection is recommended. Unfortunately, refractory disease still frequently requires complete proctectomy and permanent diversion.


Crohn's disease; fistula; stricture; surgery


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