Metro Bariatrics - Amir Moazzez MD, FACS

Ulcerative Colitis

What is ulcerative colitis?

Ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory bowel disease related to Crohn’s disease that only affects the colon, or large intestine. It is an auto-immune disease

What causes UC?

No one knows what causes UC. Thoughts include genetics, environmental factors, immune factors, or bacteria. It is more prevalent in Western countries.

What are the symptoms of UC?

Symptoms include abdominal pain, diarrhea, and bloody bowel movements. Symptoms are limited to the colon.

Outside the colon, UC can affect the eyes, liver, biliary system, skin, and joints.

How is UC treated?

UC is treated with medications and close follow up with colonoscopies. Your gastroenterologist is the main physician guiding your therapy.

What is the role of surgery in UC?

Surgery can offer a cure for UC.

Surgery is indicated in:

Long standing UC means having UC for many years. At the 20 year mark, the risk of colon cancer increases rapidly. Therefore, it is recommended that if the colon shows evidence of cancer cells, that the entire colon be removed, with the small bowel constructed as the new rectum, and connected to the anus. This is called a J-pouch, or a TAPC/IPAA.

Emergency surgery is indicated when the UC fails medical therapy and is threatening life. An emergency surgery is done by removing the majority of the colon and creating an ostomy.

How are Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis different?

  Crohn’s Disease Ulcerative Colitis
Where it occurs Anywhere from mouth to anus Only in the colon and rectum
Anal involvement Yes No
Inflammation Goes deep into tissue On the top layers of tissue
Cancer risk Small risk High risk
Cure No Yes
Weight loss Yes Seldom
Bloody bowel movements Seldom Common

Both are inflammatory bowel diseases, and are on opposite ends of the same spectrum.

Contact Inova Bariatric

If you would like more information on ulcerative colitis and treatment options for this condition, or if you would like to schedule a consultation with one of the experienced doctors at Inova Bariatric, please contact us today.

Disclaimer: The information presented is only for informational purposes, and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any illness, disease, or condition, nor is it intended to self-diagnose and self-treat any illness, disease or condition. Please consult your physician for any medical concern, question, and ailment.