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Surgery for inflammatory bowel disease

Inflammatory bowel disease can be treated with surgery, including replacing your large intestine and rectum with a pouch

About

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a common condition that affects the digestive system.

Symptoms include:
- stomach cramps
- bloating
- diarrhoea
- constipation.

While careful managing of diet can help, IBD is incurable. However, replacing your large intestine (colon) and rectum with a pouch made from a section of your small intestine can alleviate the symptoms, but only as a last resort.

Need to know

  • What happens icon plus

    Under a general anaesthetic your consultant will remove the whole colon (large intestine) and your rectum and create an internal pouch, or reservoir, using your small intestine. The pouch is connected to the anus and is used to store stools. The pouch is often referred to as a ‘J-pouch’ because of its shape. Surgery can be carried out either through open surgery or laparoscopic (keyhole) surgery. The type of surgery you receive will depend on your circumstances and the surgeon you have. Your consultant will discuss the procedure with you prior to your operation.
  • How to prepare icon plus

    The day before your surgery you will likely be asked to take a bowel preparation which will give you diarrhoea to clear the bowel of any faeces to make the operation easier. You may also need to follow a specific diet and avoid some medications. As you'll be asleep during the procedure you should avoid eating or drinking in the hours before surgery.
  • Afterwards icon plus

    After your surgery you may need to stay in hospital for around a week. The length of your stay will also depend on whether you had open or laparoscopic surgery. You may receive nutrition through an intravenous drip until your bowel has healed a little and you are able to drink more normally. You will probably be encouraged to eat and drink as soon as you feel able and will be encouraged to move around. It is likely that your bowel habits will be very different from what they previously were. An experienced nurse will be able to discuss this with you.
Consultant in theatres

Our consultants

We're proud to work with leading experts across a range of medical fields, whose skills are matched by their integrity and compassion.

Our facilities

From complex surgery to straightforward procedures, we provide exceptional care across our network of hospitals, outpatient centres and specialist clinics.

  • Wellington-south-hero-facility-582-582

    The Wellington Hospital

    Wellington Place

    London NW8 9LE

    Appointments 0207 483 5148
    Enquiries 020 3131 7478

  • London Bridge Hospital Facility

    London Bridge Hospital

    27 Tooley Street

    London

    SE1 2PR

    Appointments and Enquiries 020 7234 2009
    Imaging Appointments 020 7234 2773
    Switchboard 020 7407 3100

  • The Portland Hospital Facility

    The Portland Hospital

    205 - 209 Great Portland Street

    London

    W1W 5AH

    Children's enquiries 020 7390 8020
    Maternity enquiries 020 7390 6068
    Gynaecology enquiries 020 7390 6200

  • The Lister Hospital Facility

    The Lister Hospital

    Chelsea Bridge Road

    London

    SW1W 8RH

    Appointments 020 7811 4000
    Enquiries 020 3131 4978

Request an appointment

We're happy to help you make an appointment with one of our experienced consultants.

This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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