Ulcerative colitis is a sub-type of inflammatory bowel disease which affects the colon and rectum. In ulcerative colitis the colon and rectum are affected by inflammation of the colon lining, most often resulting in abdominal pain and diarrhea which is frequently bloody. Initial treatment for ulcerative colitis is usually accomplished by specialized anti-inflammatory medications. If medical therapy does not control the symptoms of ulcerative colitis, the gastroenterologist may refer the patient to a colorectal surgeon.
Surgery for ulcerative colitis involves removing the colon and rectum. Often a new rectum is constructed from small intestine and the patient will not require a permanent ostomy bag. This surgery is frequently done in a minimally invasive fashion, using a laparoscopic or robotic approach and small incisions to lessen discomfort and hasten recovery. The surgeons at Piedmont Colorectal Associates have extensive experience in treating ulcerative colitis and can help to decide the best approach for each patient.