AGA - American Gastroenterological Association
AGA - American Gastroenterological Association

Planning your IBD life

Planning your IBD life

Medical procedures and surgeries

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When making decisions about medical procedures and surgeries, your care team is an excellent source of guidance and support. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and talk to them about how different options might impact your inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
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Questions to ask before your procedure

  • What are the noninvasive options I can look into before having this procedure/surgery?
  • How can I best prepare for my procedure with my IBD symptoms in mind?
  • (If applicable) I’m experiencing some symptoms right now — do you recommend postponing?
  • Do I need to change what medications I’m taking or how I can take them before the procedure?
  • Are there any side effects or risks I should know about with this procedure?
  • Do I need to change my diet, or stop eating/drinking completely before or after the procedure?
  • What can I expect from the recovery process?
  • Is there someone else who has gone through the procedure I could speak to?
Be sure to build in enough time for recovery. Even if the procedure or surgery went smoothly, you accomplished something and deserve time to rest and recuperate.
Dr. Laurie Keefer,
psychologist at Mount Sinai who specializes in life-long digestive diseases

Let your health care provider know

  • About any medical conditions you have (e.g., diabetes, heart failure, etc.), as you may require special care before the surgery or procedure.
  • If you are taking blood thinners or have bleeding/blood-clotting issues.
  • If you smoke.
  • If you require anxiety medication during procedures.
  • If you have any medical device implants (e.g., pacemaker or other electromedical devices).
  • What medications or supplements you are taking.
    • Note: Share all prescription and over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, and supplements.
  • About your Crohn’s disease or colitis symptoms so they can be prepared to help you if you have any complications.

Don’t forget to

  • Stay positive and optimistic.
    • Worrying and over-stressing can lead to other potentially harmful health issues.
  • Be as comfortable as you can.
    • Make a playlist, bring your favorite pillow, snack or something that gives you comfort.
  • Understand what to expect during recovery.
    • You may experience post-procedure side effects or symptoms caused by the procedure that act like flares but will likely get better as you continue to recover.
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