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General enquiries:
+44 (0)207 935 4444
Book an appointment:
+44 (0)207 616 7693
Self-pay enquiry:
+44 (0)203 219 3315

What is Crohn’s disease?

Crohn’s disease causes inflammation of your bowel. The disease most often affects the end part of your small bowel, called the terminal ileum. However, it can affect any part of your bowel.

Figure showing Crohn's disease at the terminal ileum

Crohn’s disease causes your bowel wall to thicken, which can block food from passing through. The affected area of your bowel can also fail to absorb nutrients from your food.

What are the benefits of surgery?

Your symptoms should improve. Your doctor may also be able to reduce or stop your medication.

Are there any alternatives to surgery?

Inflammation can be treated using medication such as mesalazine, steroids, azathioprine and infliximab. These have side effects and your doctor will discuss them with you.

Sometimes a narrowing of your bowel can be stretched by a procedure that uses a flexible telescope and a balloon dilator.

What does the operation involve?

The operation is performed under a general anaesthetic and usually takes an hour to 90 minutes.

Your surgeon will make a cut on your abdomen and remove the diseased part of your small bowel. They will often need to also remove a part of your large bowel.

Your surgeon will usually join the ends of your bowel back together. If they are unable to join the ends of your bowel, they will make a colostomy or ileostomy (your bowel opening onto your skin).

What complications can happen?

General complications of any operation

  • Pain
  • Bleeding
  • Infection of the surgical site (wound)
  • Unsightly scarring of your skin
  • Developing a hernia in the scar
  • Blood clot in your leg
  • Blood clot in your lung
  • Chest infection
  • Difficulty passing urine

Specific complications of this operation

Keyhole surgery complications

  • Damage to structures such as your bowel, bladder or blood vessels
  • Developing a hernia near one of the cuts used to insert the ports
  • Surgical emphysema

Surgery for Crohn’s disease complications

  • Anastomotic leak
  • Continued bowel paralysis
  • Damage to other structures inside your abdomen
  • Injury to your bowel
  • Tissues can join together in an abnormal way
  • Death. The risk is less the fitter you are

How soon will I recover?

You should be able to go home after 3 to 10 days.

It may take up to 3 months for you to recover fully. Most people feel much better after the diseased part of their bowel has been removed.

Regular exercise should help you to return to normal activities as soon as possible. Before you start exercising, ask the healthcare team or your GP for advice.

Crohn’s disease sometimes comes back and affects another part of your bowel or a part near to where the join was made.

Why choose The London Clinic?

The London Clinic is dedicated to providing the best, personalised healthcare with over 600 world-renowned consultants available to offer informed health advice and treatment.

Spanning Harley Street and Devonshire Place, The London Clinic is situated in the heart of London’s internationally-known medical district. This central location, together with state-of-the art technologies and facilities that are not widely available in other hospitals, makes The London Clinic the hospital of choice for around 120,000 patients every year.

The London Clinic is an HTA licensed and JACIE accredited cancer centre with an ‘Excellent’ MacMillan Quality Environment Mark and with access to a Level 3 intensive care unit.

Offering affordable and competitive self-pay packages and expert support from Clinical Nurse Specialists and our specialised multidisciplinary team, over 98% of our patients said they would recommend The London Clinic to their friends and families.

Summary

Crohn’s disease causes inflammation of your bowel. Surgery is usually recommended if medication fails to improve your symptoms.

Treatment cost

The London Clinic offers affordable, competitive self-pay packages for certain treatments.

Patients have the option to spread the cost of treatment with Chrysalis Finance.

Please call +44 (0)20 3613 7502 to speak to our helpful team to find out more and to book an appointment.

Main numbers

General enquiries: 020 7935 4444 Appointments: 020 7616 7693 Self-Pay: 020 3219 3315

Contact numbers for service departments

Other numbers

Concierge service: 020 3219 3323International office: 020 3219 3266Invoice and payment enquiries: 020 7616 7708Press office 020 7616 7676

Your call may be recorded for training and monitoring purposes.

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