Surgery should be looked at as a therapeutic option rather than as a failure of therapy. Indeed, the goal of surgery is to improve quality of life and help patients lead healthier, more active lifestyles. For example, if only a short segment of your small intestine is affected by Crohn’s disease, you may benefit from surgery without the exposure to potentially harmful side effects of medications. Although the use of medications such as biologics or immunomodulators can be indispensable for many patients, their prolonged use in the setting of a poor response may delay surgery, and as a result, may increase the risk for complications. Optimal timing of surgery insures the best quality of life. While surgery is not the first approach used to treat Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, it can greatly restore quality of life in people who are struggling to get better despite medical treatment.
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