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Operative management of Crohn disease of the small bowel, colon, and rectum

Phillip R Fleshner, MD, FACS
Section Editor
Martin Weiser, MD
Deputy Editor
Wenliang Chen, MD, PhD


Crohn disease is a chronic, unremitting, incurable inflammatory disorder that can affect any segment of the gastrointestinal tract as well as extraintestinal sites [1]. The mainstay of the treatment for Crohn disease is medical. However, one in two patients with Crohn disease can expect to have at least one surgical procedure due to complications or refractory symptoms.

Surgical and endoscopic management of Crohn disease of the small bowel, colon, and rectum is discussed in this topic. The clinical manifestations and diagnosis of Crohn disease, medical therapy for patients with Crohn disease, and extraintestinal manifestations of Crohn disease are discussed elsewhere. (See "Clinical manifestations, diagnosis and prognosis of Crohn disease in adults" and "Overview of the medical management of mild to moderate Crohn disease in adults" and "Overview of the medical management of severe or refractory Crohn disease in adults" and "Perianal complications of Crohn disease".)


Operative management is indicated in patients with Crohn disease of the small bowel, colon or rectum for [1,2]:

Bowel perforation (see "Overview of gastrointestinal tract perforation", section on 'Inflammatory bowel disease')

Intra-abdominal, retroperitoneal, or abdominal wall abscess refractory to nonoperative management (see "Overview of the medical management of severe or refractory Crohn disease in adults", section on 'Abscesses')

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Literature review current through: Sep 2017. | This topic last updated: Nov 17, 2016.
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