Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) refers to two related but different diseases: ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease. These diseases cause chronic inflammation of the intestinal tract, which lead to a variety of symptoms. The inflammation can also affect organs other than the intestines.
IBD is a lifelong disease with spans of time when it is active and other times when it is under control and inactive. IBD is very common, but it has been difficult to pinpoint how many people worldwide suffer from the disease because of a lack of standardized guidelines for making a diagnosis and also misdiagnosis. Some organizations estimate that as many as five million people worldwide are living with IBD.10,12
Ulcerative colitis. With ulcerative colitis, inflammation occurs only in the large intestine (colon) and is limited to the inner lining of the intestinal wall. The inflammation almost always starts in the lowest part of the colon (the rectum) and extends upwards in continuous pattern. The length of colon that is involved varies between patients. In some patients, the inflammation is only in the rectum, in others it extends part of the way up the colon, and in other patients it involves the entire colon. Because the inflammation is confined to the colon, ulcerative colitis is curable by surgical removal of the colon.
Crohn's disease. Crohn’s disease can involve any part of the intestinal tract from the mouth to the anal area. The most common areas are the lower part of the small intestine (the ileum) and the colon. Unlike ulcerative colitis, "skip" lesions can be found in Crohn's disease. This means there can be normal areas in between areas that are inflamed. Also, all layers of the intestinal wall can be affected and that may lead to particular complications seen only in Crohn's disease including:
- Fistula- an abnormal connection between the intestine and other organs
- Abscess- collection of pus
- Stricture- an area of narrowing that can lead to intestinal blockage
Because Crohn's disease usually comes back after surgery, it is generally not curable.
While clinical studies support the effectiveness of the da Vinci Surgical System when used in minimally invasive surgery, individual results may vary. There are no guarantees of outcome. All surgeries involve the risk of major complications. Before you decide on surgery, discuss treatment options with your doctor. Understanding the risks of each treatment can help you make the best decision for your individual situation. Surgery with the da Vinci Surgical System may not be appropriate for every individual; it may not be applicable to your condition. Always ask your doctor about all treatment options, as well as their risks and benefits. Only your doctor can determine whether da Vinci Surgery is appropriate for your situation. The clinical information and opinions, including any inaccuracies expressed in this material by patients or doctors about da Vinci Surgery, are not necessarily those of Intuitive Surgical, Inc. and should not be considered as substitute for medical advice provided by your doctor. © 2010 Intuitive Surgical. All rights reserved.
- Luca F, Cenciarelli S, Valvo M, et al. Full Robotic Left Colon and Rectal Cancer Resection: Technique and Early Outcome. Annals of Surgical Oncology. May 2009, Vol. 16, No. 5: 1274-1278
- Spinoglio G, Summa M, Priora F, et al., Robotic Colorectal Surgery: First 50 Cases Experience; Diseases of the Colon and Rectum; DOI 10.1007/s10350-008-9334-0 Volume 51 1627-1632 (2008)
- National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse; National Institutes of Health. Available from: http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/diverticulosis/
- U.S. News & World Report; Uninsured Face Worse Outcome After Diverticulitis; Dec. 2008. Available from: http://health.usnews.com/health-news/diet-fitness/digestive-disorders/articles/2008/12/15/uninsured-face-worse-outcomes-after-diverticulitis.html
- “Inflammatory Bowel Disease” (organization of patient-led groups from around the world). Available from: http://ibdday.bvsalud.org/
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Available from: http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dach/ibd.htm
- The American College of Gastroenterology; Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Available from: http://www.acg.gi.org/patients/gihealth/pdf/ibd.pdf
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