Ingenious surgery to help Crohn's disease
(New York-WABC, March 2, 2006) (WABC) -- Crohn's disease is a chronic inflammation of the small and large intestines. The wall can become so inflamed that it blocks food passage; surgery to remove a blocked portion helps, but takes out a piece of intestine that works to absorb food.
Forty-six-year-old Kathy Munro has Crohn's disease and has been on powerful drugs to treat it for years. She's already had two surgeries to open up when her intestine when it was almost blocked by inflammation. She's already had almost two feet of intestine removed.
Kathleen Munro,Crohn's Disease Patient:"...The more I can keep in, the better I think I will be...butt...if I don't have the intestines, I wont be able to absorb the vitamins and nutrients that I need."
Crohn's is a chronic disease and Kathy now has blockages again; food doesn't go through easily. But an ingenious operation will undo the blockage and maintain the absorbing power of her bowel without removing any of it.
Dr. Frabrizio Michelassi, NY Presbyterian Weill Cornell:"...If you don't have enough, you can't absorb water and nutrients and everything comes out the other end as watery diarrhea."
Dr. Michelassi is Surgeon-in-Chief at the hospital and pioneered this operation in 1993.
This surgery is for advanced severe Crohn's disease which requires a very technically advanced and challenging operation.
Procedure of the operation:
In view of fact this is recurrent disease and may come back, there is an advantage in doing a procedure that saves bowel.
Dr. Michelassi says that since he innovated the operation twelve years ago, hundreds of severe Crohn's patients have had the surgery. Because the bowel being sewn is diseased,there can be complications with the stitches coming out to cause infection in the abdomen.
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