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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Can ulcerative colitis come back after surgery for a colostomy bag?

    I read and been told that if you have surgery to remove your colon and have a colostomy bag classified as a cure for Ulcerative colitis (UC) that in some cases UC can come back. Can someone please clarify if this is so or not the case thank you.
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  • 1

    Thanks

    Dr Simon Benstock

    Gastroenterologist

    Dr Simon Benstock completed his advanced training in Gastroenterology at Prince of Wales and St Vincent’s hospitals in Sydney. His major interests are colon cancer … View Profile

    Ulcerative colitis, by definition, only involves the colon and the rectum which is better known as the large bowel or the large intestines. It never involves the small bowel. If you had surgery and you have a colostomy bag, that is indicative that you had the entire colon and rectum removed and if that is the case, that is, by definition, curative for ulcerative colitis. So your symptoms or certainly your disease should never come back because the entire area involved that has disease has been removed. However, it is very important before talking to a surgeon or thinking about any surgery for ulcerative colitis that your treating doctors make absolutely sure that you don't have Crohn's disease that has been mistaken for ulcerative colitis. Crohn's disease can actually occur anywhere in the large bowel, small bowel, even up to the stomach and esophagus, and if the diagnosis is incorrect, and there is underlying Crohn's disease, then yes, after removing the colon, you could still have a return of disease in the small bowel. So it's very important to have that ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease distinguished from one another before any surgery.

  • Anonymous

    Hi Simon Thank you for your replay the reason I asked is my GI is convinced I have UC Pan UC in my large colon, and has told me a 90% chance that it is yet  my Surgeon when he saw copy of the scope and when I talk to him about the surgery he keeps saying it looks a bit like crohns.  last year was very sick with it and stayed in hospital for 2 months as it was quite sever.

    I really don't want on operation I want to try everyting I can possible take / do before I get to that stage although my GI wants me to have an operation.  I am so confused and depressed about it I am now looking at other options as such as diet (SCD/Paelo) and also Facel transplant) as I seem to be running out of options and so dissappointed that treatment for UC  is not same as for crohns I am talking about the biologics other countries use biologics but not here. 

    Thanks for you reply I am not sure who else to talk about this as it has really depressed me and I am scared to have an operation and to be stuck with a bag

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