Laproscopy for Crohn's
Crohn's surgery used to involve an open abdominal incision and six weeks of recovery. Today, surgery may be done laparoscopically. "Typical procedures take one to three hours and require three to seven days of recovery in the hospital," Vogel says.
People who have laparoscopic surgery for Crohn's can usually return to their normal activities in just a few weeks. "These new techniques are safe and effective. And they are constantly being refined to limit post-op pain and shorten hospital stays," Vogel says.
Most people with Crohn's disease are good candidates for laparoscopic procedures. "The only exceptions are those who have had many operations and are known to have significant adhesions [scar tissue] in their belly," Talamini says.
Talamini points out that many people with Crohn's are like Tricarichi: They don't fit the mold of the typical surgical patient.
"People with Crohn's disease are typically young and ramping up their careers and lives," he says. "Therefore, having the option of surgery that is less invasive (physically, socially, and professionally) is important."
Talamini adds that better tools and experience with laparoscopic techniques are on the horizon. "So more people with Crohn's disease will be able to take advantage of these approaches."