Over 780,000 people in the United States are living with Crohn’s disease. To reduce your risk of complications, board-certified and fellowship-trained colon and rectal surgeons M. Jonathan Worsey, MD, FRCS, FACS, FASCRS, and Keith Beiermeister, MD, FACS, FASCRS, provide the highest quality of care for Crohn’s disease at San Diego Colon and Rectal Surgeons. At the La Jolla, California, office, Dr. Worsey and Dr. Beiermeister offer both conservative and surgical treatments to relieve the inflammation and pain and prevent new Crohn’s disease flare-ups.
Learn more about Crohn’s disease treatments by calling San Diego Colon and Rectal Surgeons today or requesting a consultation online.
What is Crohn’s disease?
Crohn’s disease is an inflammation of the intestinal tract. The condition causes chronic inflammation in your gastrointestinal tract, which can spread into the deep layers of bowel tissue. Chronic inflammation can lead to symptoms that range from mild to life-threatening.
The cause of Crohn’s disease isn’t yet known. Scientists and researchers believe that it’s probably related to an immune system problem that causes your body to mistakenly attack cells in your digestive tract.
You’re more likely to develop Crohn’s disease at certain points of your life and if you have a family history of the disease.
What are the symptoms of Crohn’s disease?
Crohn’s disease is an ongoing (chronic) condition. You might experience episodes where your symptoms flare up before going into remission.
The most common Crohn’s disease symptoms include:
- Rectal bleeding
- Persistent diarrhea
- Abdominal cramping
- Abdominal pain
It’s also common to feel like you suddenly need to move your bowels or never feel like your bowels are empty, even after having a bowel movement.
Without proper management, Crohn’s disease will lead to complications, and it is essential that you are managed by a multidisciplinary team, including a gastroenterologist and a colorectal surgeon.
How is Crohn’s disease diagnosed?
After reviewing your medical history, Dr. Worsey and Dr. Beiermeister use diagnostic tests to confirm Crohn’s disease and rule out other conditions. They can order blood work to check for an infection. Imaging procedures like magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computerized tomography (CT) scans help to evaluate the health of your bowel.
The doctors specialize in colonoscopy, a procedure that views the interior of your colon. A flexible tube equipped with a light and camera is inserted into your anal canal. It sends real-time images of your colon to a monitor the doctor watches. A colonoscopy helps the team identify inflammation and abnormalities that could cause abdominal pain and other symptoms.
How is Crohn’s disease treated?
While there’s no cure for Crohn’s disease, Dr. Beiermeister and Dr. Worsey work closely with you and your gastroenterologist to ensure that your symptoms are well-controlled. The gastroenterologists will generally prescribe anti-inflammatory medicine to reduce the inflammation and ease your pain. In some cases, medicines to suppress your immune system can also relieve chronic inflammation. They may also prescribe nutritional supplements and help you create a diet that won’t irritate your bowel, allowing it to heal naturally. If your bowel narrows, the team might suggest a low-residue diet to rest your bowel and prevent intestinal blockages.
If conservative therapies aren’t enough to relieve symptoms, or Crohn’s disease causes complications, Dr. Worsey and Dr. Beiermeister may recommend surgery. The team uses advanced surgical techniques to remove damaged parts of your digestive tract and treat the fistulas and abscesses that develop due to Crohn’s disease.
If you need help managing the chronic symptoms of Crohn’s disease, rely on the expertise of the skilled surgical team at San Diego Colon and Rectal Surgeons. You can call the office to request an appointment or use the online booking feature today.