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Crohn's Disease: When Surgery Is Needed

Topic Overview

Surgery for Crohn's disease usually is needed if ongoing symptoms do not respond to medicine or if side effects of medicine cause other serious problems.

Surgery may be needed when you have:

  • Bowel blockage (obstruction).
  • Abscesses or tears (fissures) in the anal area or when abnormal connections (fistulas) form between two parts of the intestine or between the intestine and other internal organs.
  • Holes (perforations) in the large intestine.
  • Cancer or precancerous tissue.
  • Severe disease that does not respond to other treatment.
  • Severe bleeding that requires ongoing blood transfusions.

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Arvydas D. Vanagunas, MD - Gastroenterology
Last Revised October 8, 2012

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