Several diseases can interfere with the normal functioning of the colon. These diseases can have various effects and are traditionally classified as benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous) and can cause various symptoms including bleeding, infection, and perforation.
In some cases, doctors treat the disease by removing a segment of the colon. Given that the average human has 8-10 feet of small bowel and 3-5 feet of colon, removal of a segment will generally not effect normal functioning of the colon.
In Crohn’s disease, inflammation causes cells in the affected areas of your intestine to secrete large amounts of water and salt. Because the colon can't absorb this excess fluid, you develop diarrhea. Altered intestinal contractions also can contribute to loose stools. Diarrhea can range from mild to severe.
Diarrhea can also be a symptom of ulcerative colitis. However, patients with ulcerative colitis tend to experience bloody diarrhea and also something called tenesmus. Tenesmus is the sensation of having to move ones’ bowels.
Food moving through your digestive tract can cause inflamed tissue to bleed, and your bowel may also bleed on its own. You might notice bright red blood in the toilet bowl or darker blood mixed with your stool. Should this occur, you must notify your physician.
The risks of any surgery must be weighed against the risks associated with disease state requiring the intervention.
In the case of ulcerative colitis, the risks of ongoing inflammation, infection and subsequent colon cancer are sometimes greater than the risks described below and surgery is thus indicated.
Major risks of laparoscopic proctocolectomy with ileoanal J pouch for ulcerative colitis can include but are not limited to:
Information on this site should not be used as a substitute for talking with your doctor. Always talk with your doctor about diagnosis and treatment information.