Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center Surgical Options

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Contact the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center

  • 1-617-355-6058

Learn about surgical treatment options for ulcerative colitis.

Summary points 

  • The goal of treatment for ulcerative colitis is to help children achieve and maintain a normal quality of life.

  • In general, most patients are managed with medications; however, some patients with more severe disease may require surgery to treat their ulcerative colitis.

  • Surgery for UC includes removal of the diseased colon and rectum, and is typically done in stages.

  • The decision to have surgery is a team decision that involves the patient and parents, the patient’s primary gastroenterologist, and the surgeon. Although removal of the entire colon in UC is considered to be a cure for the disease, the risks and benefits should be thoroughly reviewed.

  • The first stage includes removal of the colon, and creation of a J-pouch to replace the rectum and a temporary ileostomy so bowel movements can empty into a bag on the skin. In the second and final stage, the ileostomy is removed and the patient can have bowel movements in the regular fashion. Patients who are very ill at the time of surgery may need three stages to complete their surgery.

We are grateful to have been ranked #1 on U.S. News & World Report's list of the best children's hospitals in the nation for the third year in a row, an honor we could not have achieved without the patients and families who inspire us to do our very best for them. Thanks to you, Boston Children's is a place where we can write the greatest children's stories ever told.”
- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO

Boston Children's Hospital 300 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115 617-355-6000 | 800-355-7944

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