Pouchitis is an inflammation caused by a bacterial infection in a patient with an ileal pouch anal anastomosis (IPAA). It is the most common, long-term complication of the ileal pouch procedure in patients with ulcerative colitis.

Symptoms of Pouchitis

Symptoms of pouchitis may include:

  • More frequent bowel movements
  • More urgent bowel movements
  • Abdominal pain
  • Cramping
  • The strong feeling of needing to have a bowel movement
  • Blood in the stool
  • Low grade fevers

What is Pouchitis?

Many people with serious ulcerative colitis end up having their diseased colon removed and the bowel reconnected with a surgical procedure known as ileal pouch anal anastomosis (IPAA). This surgery creates an internal pouch (made from the healthy small intestine), known as an ileal pouch, to hold waste internally before it's eliminated during a normal bowel movement. Our surgeons have performed hundreds of these advanced surgeries, including the use of minimally invasive techniques, like laparoscopy.

Pouchitis is an inflammation of the lining of this newly formed pouch. This complication occurs in up to half of people who have this operation. Fortunately, in the majority of cases, this condition is easily treated with antibiotics.

How is Pouchitis Treated?

Pouchitis often responds to a short course of antibiotics but can sometimes be difficult to treat. The Carlino Family Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center established a dedicated pouchitis clinic to diagnose and treat pouch-associated disorders. Our doctors specialize in customizing treatments for the small group of patients (about 5 – 10%) who have antibiotic-resistant pouchitis with anti-inflammatory agents and immunomodulators. Learn more about our drug therapy options.

Why Choose the Carlino Family IBD Center for Pouchitis Treatment?

  • Our surgeons perform large numbers of IPAA procedures. They and our dedicated gastroenterologists are experienced in managing pouchitis, treating dozens of patients who have this condition each year at our dedicated pouchitis clinic.
  • Our team, including surgeons, gastroenterologists, pathologists and others who specialize in treating pouchitis, work together to find the best option for your situation.
  • In our clinic, you can see all the specialists you need in one convenient location, usually during the same visit.
  • You can participate in active research trials looking at new treatments for pouchitis.