Many patients with Crohn’s disease suffer from the occasional narrowing of the intestines as a result of scar tissue that has built up in the intestinal wall. These strictures (obstructions) make it difficult for food to move through the bowel and can lead to symptoms such as pain and abdominal cramping. Depending upon the size, number and spacing of the strictures, a procedure called a strictureplasty may provide relief.

What is strictureplasty?

If you have small bowel strictures, you may develop bowel obstructions, either from the stricture itself or from food that cannot pass through the narrowed intestines. This can cause you considerable discomfort. Strictureplasty is a surgical procedure to widen the areas of the bowel that have become narrowed by the accumulation of scar tissue. The benefit of this procedure is that it widens the affected areas of the intestine without removing sections of it, resulting in a less invasive surgery and shorter recovery time.

Strictureplasty at Henry Ford IBD Center

Our colorectal surgeons regularly perform strictureplasty to help patients manage their Crohn’s disease while also preserving bowel length. Preserving as much bowel as possible is very important in order to avoid malnutrition and prevent problems with hydration. Our surgeons perform strictureplasty as both an open procedure and through minimally invasive bowel surgery whenever possible. The type of procedure depends on whether the areas that require intervention can be reached by an endoscope laparoscopically. Knowing when and how to use strictureplasty requires a specialist with advanced specialization in treating IBD. Our surgeons have significant experience in this technique and are expert at preserving the most bowel possible.

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