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
- 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.