Ulcerative colitis is a condition where the colon and rectum become inflamed, causing sores and irritation. Many people with UC take medication to treat the symptoms, but for some people, medication isn’t enough. Around 25 to 40 percent of people with UC are required to have surgery.

There are currently two types of surgeries for UC, including proctocolectomy with ileostomy, and proctocolectomy and ileoanal pouch-anal anastomosis (IPAA). Proctocolectomy with ileostomy involves removing the large intestine and attaching an ostomy bag outside of the body where waste from the small intestine is emptied into. IPAA is a newer procedure where the anus is preserved so the person can have bowel movements out of their natural anal opening. This procedure involves removing the colon and rectum and connecting an internal pouch to the anus to collect waste.

There can be a few complications after surgery. One common issue that people experience after having an ileostomy, is blockage in the small intestine. Symptoms of this include severe abdominal pain, dark-colored urine, vomiting, lack of liquid in the pouch, and swelling around the stoma.

Even though the surgery can be life changing for some people, the outcome of the surgery can help people live healthy and active lives with less complications in the future.

Read more about surgery for ulcerative colitis