• Joel Bauer MD
  • Stephen Gorfine MD
  • David Chessin MD
  • Daniel Popowich MD

Ulcerative Colitis

Treating Ulcerative Colitis in Manhattan

Understanding Your Treatment Options

Ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory disease of the large intestine (also known as the colon). It is clinically distinguished from Crohn's disease as it only affects the large intestine, and thus can be cured by surgical removal in most cases. Management of the disease includes medication, often administered by a Manhattan gastroenterologist, and surgery.

At Manhattan Surgical Associates, we have more than 60 years of experience treating conditions of the colon such as ulcerative colitis. Call us today at 646.798.4606 to learn more.

Diagnosing Ulcerative Colitis in Our Manhattan Offices

The first step in the diagnosis of ulcerative colitis includes a history and physical examination. The disease is often then diagnosed definitively with a colonoscopy and biopsy, during which a small amount of tissue from the lining of the large intestine is removed and sent for pathologic examination. The disease can often be diagnosed from the resulting pathology.

Additionally, a colonoscopy is used for the surveillance of precancerous and cancerous lesions in patients with ulcerative colitis. Other studies that may be used include plain abdominal X-rays and a CT scan of the abdomen and pelvis. Radiologic studies are often used to evaluate for the complications of ulcerative colitis, including large intestine dilation and perforation.

A few of the most common symptoms of ulcerative colitis include:

  • Bloody diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Pale skin
  • Fatigue
  • Weight loss and poor appetite

Treatment of Ulcerative Colitis

In many cases, the initial treatment of ulcerative colitis includes medication, which is administered by a gastroenterologist. The medications commonly used include 5-ASA compounds (such as mesalamine), steroids, 6-MP/azathioprine, Cyclosporine, and Remicade.

Surgery may be recommended in patients who are unresponsive to medical management, those who have intolerable side-effects of the medication, or those who have developed precancerous or cancerous lesions of the large intestine. The surgery may be performed in one to three different procedures, depending on the reason for surgery and the clinical appearance of the patient.

In some situations, most of the colon is removed (subtotal colectomy) and a temporary ileostomy is performed. Following recovery from this surgery, the remaining colon and rectum are removed. Following removal of the colon and rectum, a permanent ileostomy is an option. However, most people are candidates for a restorative proctocolectomy (ileal J-pouch).

A restorative proctocolectomy involves creating a pouch out of the end of the small intestine and connecting it to the anus, therefore removing the diseased large intestine with maintenance of the normal route of defecation. Our practice has performed more than 1700 restorative proctocolectomies.

Email our Manhattan colorectal surgeons today to make an appointment.

Contact Us

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