What is ulcerative colitis?
This is an inflammatory bowel disease that affects the large bowel only. The small bowel is never affected.
What causes ulcerative colitis?
Generally the cause is unknown. There are various theories from infection, autoimmune and genetic abnormalities.
Who treats ulcerative colitis disease?
Most patients are managed by gastroenterologists not surgeons. Colorectal surgeons are involved with specific surgical problems.
What are the symptoms?
There might be diarrhoea, bleeding, passage of mucus and abdominal pain. Sometimes there are urgent problems like severe bleeding, bowel obstruction or uncontrolled diarrhoea
What is the treatment?
Mostly the treatment is medical drugs administered by gastroenterologists. Surgery is required for complicated disease and emergencies. Treatment is multidisciplinary with cooperation between surgeons and gastroenterologists.
What sorts of operations are required?
Patients needing surgery need part or all the colon removed. A stoma bag is usually required.
Can ulcerative colitis be cured?
Surgery is curative because all the colon is removed. Most patients don’t need surgery and are better managed with medications.