Surgery is one possible colitis treatment, but is it the only thing available? The surgical options for ulcerative colitis have come a long way over the last few years. Today, colitis sufferers are no longer dependent on a bag system to manage waste elimination. Ileostomy, the surgical treatment for colitis, can be a life changing, but what are the other options for people with this form of inflammatory bowel disease?
Colitis simply means inflammation of the bowel. People with chronic colitis tend to develop sores, called ulcers, along their digestive tract. Ulcerative colitis is a debilitating condition that can become life-threatening if the intestines rupture and leak.
Risk factors for colitis include:
Ulcerative colitis is also associated with the use of isotretinoin, a medication used to treat acne. It is not clear how this disease is related to the drug, however.
Surgical intervention involves resecting the bowel to attach the small intestine to the abdominal wall. This allows waste to evacuate via a stoma, or hole, in the wall. In the past, patients would attach a bag to the stoma to collect the waste. Newer surgical treatments allow waste to collect in an internal pouch, so waste can be eliminated into a toilet instead.
Surgery offers a final solution for those with ulcerative colitis, but there are less invasive treatments to try first. Surgery becomes necessary for those who fail to respond to other options.
The doctor may suggest drug therapies to manage the systems, as well. For example, anti-diarrheal medications can ease the discomfort.
Lifestyle changes can help manage the disease, too. Individuals with ulcerative colitis follow a strict diet that includes low-fat and limited dairy. Eating small meals reduces the episodes and improves the quality of life. The doctor may suggest you take a vitamin supplement, as well. This helps make up for the nutrients that the body cannot absorb because of the disease.
Is surgery the answer for your ulcerative colitis? Surgery is one possible treatment option. While the concept is scary, know that the surgical techniques have improved and patients no longer have to schedule their lives around a bag.