Ulcerative Colitis Treatment

The treatment of ulcerative colitis involves both medical and surgical treatments.

Medical treatments may include:

  • 5-ASA drugs which are anti inflammatory in the bowel
  • Steroids
  • Other immunosuppressive agents such as azathioprine
  • Biological agents- anti-TNF alpha antibodies such as infliximab

Often these treatments for ulcerative colitis are given by mouth, but some can also be given via the back passage as suppositories or enemas. Occasionally treatments may need to be given through a vein (intra-venously), this will usually take place in the hospital.

Surgery- Patients whose symptoms do not respond to medical treatments may be offered surgery. Surgery for ulcerative colitis involves removal of the colon and rectum.

Unlike Crohn’s Diseaseulcerative colitis is treated by removing the affected colon and rectum, a procedure known as a Pan-proctocolectomy.

In some cases the patient may decide to live with a permanent stoma or bag this is known as an ileostomy

In many cases patients prefer not to have a permanent ileostomy. If that is the case the colon and rectum are removed and reconstruction can be achieved by creating a pouch using the small intestine. This is known as an ileal pouch procedure. This creates a reservoir for the storage of stool and allows patients to have control over their bowel actions.

Nearly all of the surgical procedures including ileal pouch surgery can be performed using a Laparoscopic (keyhole) technique. 

Ulcerative colitis is a condition where sufferers can experience relapses, patients are usually seen at regular intervals at follow- up appointments. Occasionally admission to hospital is required for patients when they have an acute flare up.

Patients who have had extensive ulcerative colitis for more than 10 years have an increased risk of developing colorectal cancer.   This risk is increased further if a close blood relative has also had bowel cancer.  In this is the case then regular examination of the bowel by colonoscopy will be recommended.

What are the next steps?
If you think you have this condition or any of these symptoms
you will need to seek medical advice.
For more information or to make an appointment.
Contact birmingham bowel clinic on 0845 241 7762
or email enquiries@birminghambowelclinic.co.uk
If you have private medical care or wish
to pay to see a consultant.
Take this factsheet along to your own
GP and request a referral to one
of our consultants
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