Published: November 28, 2018

Dear @Name@,

Your healthcare team has discussed the following subject with you: intestinal strictures of Crohn's disease. Here is some additional information. Let us know if you have any questions regarding this information.

Crohn's disease is a chronic inflammatory disease of the bowel that can involve any area from the mouth to the anus, and can affect the entire thickness of the GI tract.

Crohn's disease may result in strictures. A stricture is an area of narrowing in the intestines. After repeated cycles of continued inflammation and healing in the lining of the intestine, scar tissue can replace the normal cells. As a result, this scar tissue may result in narrowing of the gastrointestinal tract. Occasionally, this narrowing can get so severe that it can cause bowel obstruction. The most common locations for these strictures are the ileum (the last part of the small intestine) and the ileocecal valve (the entrance from small to large intestine), although strictures can also be seen in the upper gastrointestinal tract, colon, rectum, or anus.

Depending on where the stricture is located, patients with strictures can have blockage symptoms that include nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain, bloating, or the inability to pass gas and stool. Let your doctor know if you have any of these symptoms. To diagnose strictures, colonoscopy and CT scans or MRIs of the abdomen can be used. To treat strictures, there are medical options (if there is also a significant amount of inflammation) and surgical options (especially if strictures recur frequently).

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