Risk of surgery for inflammatory bowel disease: record linkage studies
Inflammatory bowel disease, which includes Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, is a debilitating and sometimes life threatening disease that affects about 250,000 people in the United Kingdom. Since the 1950s Crohn's disease has become more common. Each year 2000 colectomies are performed to treat inflammatory bowel disease, with varying risk depending on the cause of the disease. Colectomy carried out as an emergency measure also carries more risk than elective colectomy surgery, at least in the short term. Currently in the UK, elective colectomy is carried out on about 40% of patients who are admitted to hospital with a severe attack of ulcerative colitis.
Given the risk associated with emergency colectomy, the authors wanted to compare the risk associated with treating inflammatory bowl disease with elective surgery, emergency surgery, or no surgery, to see if the current threshold for elective surgery is optimal. Some studies have looked at this already