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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    What should I do if my GI and surgeon have different diagnoses?

    I am confused… my gi tells me I have Severe Pan UC but my surgeon thinks I have Crohn's. When discussed what the procedure is to have my colon removed, my surgeon said the only way they can tell if I have UC or Crohns is when they remove my colon… so I may be stuck with an illostomy bag. Is this true? I am not ready to have this operation but would like to now if this is the case.
    Thank you
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • 1


    Bowel Cancer Australia is the leading community-funded charity dedicated to prevention, early diagnosis, research, quality treatment and care for everyone affected by bowel cancer. We … View Profile

    Hi there,

    It sounds like you need to go back to your Doctors for furthur clarification. The symptoms of Chron's disease and Ulcerative Colitis are quite similar so maybe that is why they will not be able to provide a definite answer untill they have looked at the bowel during surgerey.

    It is not common for people to have an Ileostomy these days, however if you should need one it may only be a temporary requirement. I suggest you make a time to speak to your surgeon so you fully understand what is going on. Maybe take a friend or relative with you as sometimes it can be quite a lot of information to take in. Write down any questions you might have before you talk to your Doctor.

    Kind regards


    Bowel Cancer Australia Nurse Adviser

    Please Note: The information provided by Bowel Cancer Australia’s Nurse and Nutritionist Advisory Services is intended for Australian residents as a reference guide only.  It is not a substitute for independent professional advice and is not intended to be used to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or disorder.
    If you believe your symptoms are consistent with those of bowel cancer or a digestive illness, please consult your doctor.
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  • 4


    Dr Michael Swan


    Michael Swan is a Gastroenterologist specialising in endoscopy, pancreaticobiliary disease and gastrointestinal cancer screening. Michael trained in clinical endoscopy with leaders in the field both … View Profile

    It is sometimes difficult to 100% make a diagnosis of Crohn's vs UC.

    I suggest that you look up a detailed and comprehensive answer of a similar question from a colleague of mine, Dr Greg Moore, who specialises in Inflammtory Bowel Disease. 

    As mentioned in an earlier comment, I would also suggest asking further questions of both the gastroenterologist and surgeon. Keep in mind that it doesn't hurt ( and doesn't offend the specialists you are involved with already) to ask for another opinion from either another gastroenterologist or surgeon.  

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