Life-Changing Surgeries Offer Hope to Patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease
By Press Release Wednesday, November 28, 2012, 09:48 AM EST
Englewood Hospital and Medical Center Expands Services for Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis
(Englewood, NJ, November 26, 2012) – Englewood Hospital and Medical Center’s Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Center has expanded its services to include several innovative surgeries to treat patients diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease and ulcerative colitis. Englewood Hospital is the only hospital in northern New Jersey to offer the full range of procedures to treat these conditions in pediatric and adult patients.
“These life-changing operations have previously been limited to large, city hospitals,” said Michael T. Harris, MD, Chief of Surgery and Surgical Services at Englewood Hospital and Medical Center. “We are extremely proud to offer IBD patients and their families the most sophisticated and up-to-date care, in the comfort of our own community. We understand how isolating these conditions can be and remain committed to helping patients achieve a less-stressful, more active lifestyle.”
More than 1.4 million people nationwide are living with Crohn’s Disease or ulcerative colitis. Both illnesses are extremely debilitating, often causing severe abdominal pain, bleeding, frequent and sometimes involuntary bowel movements. Ulcerative colitis is an inflammation of the colon or large intestine, while Crohn’s Disease usually affects the small bowel or small intestine, though it can involve any part of the gastrointestinal system.
“Patients with Crohn’s Disease or ulcerative colitis may have to use the restroom between eight and 12 times a day,” explained Dr. Harris, who is recognized nationally for his work in gastrointestinal and IBD surgery, having helped to pioneer minimally invasive surgical techniques for both diseases, including the highly-advanced “J-Pouch” procedure. “Both diseases affect every aspect of our patients’ lives. Many are forced to plan their daily activities around the nearest restroom. Our number one priority is to restore their quality of life and help them to better manage these challenging diseases.”
The J-Pouch surgery is a complex reconstructive surgery mainly used to treat patients with ulcerative colitis. Surgeons remove a patient’s entire colon and use part of his or her small intestine to re-build it. The resulting “J-shaped” pouch allows the patient to produce a natural bowel movement. While this procedure is typically done in two to three steps, with most surgeons leaving the patient with a temporary ileostomy or “bag,” Dr. Harris is one of only several surgeons worldwide to do the surgery in a single session, often using a laparoscopic technique.
“The minimally invasive approach allows for a faster recovery, shorter hospital stay and minimal scarring,” explained Dr. Harris. “The ability to perform the J-pouch surgery in one-stage has prevented many patients from ever needing to wear a bag, even temporarily.”
The primary, at-risk groups for these diseases are children and young adults between the ages of 10 and 30. Englewood Hospital has created “swing rooms” designed specifically for adolescent and young adult patients hospitalized with IBD. These “swing rooms” allow adult and pediatric nursing staff to collaborate on the follow-up care for young patients with ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease, as well as their families.
In addition to the J-Pouch surgery, Englewood Hospital’s IBD Center also offers a laparoscopic procedure to treat patients with Crohn’s disease. Gastrointestinal surgeons remove the diseased bowel and reattach the healthy ends of the intestine using a minimally invasive technique, which ultimately leads to a better outcome for the patient.
“These surgeries not only give our patients relief from pain and other symptoms, but also allow them to live their lives without being tied to a bathroom,” said Dr. Harris. “Our team is extremely excited to offer these procedures to patients at Englewood Hospital and will continue to provide support and compassionate care through every step of the recovery process. We brought the experts here to Englewood so our patients and their families don’t have to leave our community for world-class Crohn’s and colitis care.”
For a referral to an IBD Specialist, call 1-866-980-EHMC (3462) or visit www.englewoodhospital.com and click the “Medical Services” tab to learn more about the IBD Center at Englewood Hospital and Medical Center.