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Bariatric Surgery/Bariatric Surgery with Crohn's Disease


Hi my name is Elena, I am a 19 year old young lady and have had Crohn's disease since I was 16. I have not had any complications since I started using Pentasa. I know that Pentasa is one of the lowest drugs used to treat Crohn's. I am in remission and have been for awhile now. I have been over weight however all my life and I want to have Bariatric surgery. So, I need to know will I be able to have it and if I do what will I need to expect from my surgeon when I tell him I have Crohn's. Please help me. By the way, I want to have the Gastric Sleeve. Please help. Thanks.

As you have learned, all physicians are nervous about performing intestinal surgery for patients who have Crohn's disease. This is because Crohn's disease leads to the potential for a whole new set of complications including leakage and fistula.

Nevertheless, my experience is that the obesity disease is so significant that the benefits of bariatric surgery continue to outweigh the risks even in the setting of Crohn's disease.

The final decision will rest with your bariatric surgeon, so your next step is to go ahead and have a consultation with a bariatric surgeon in your area. You may help your case by getting the support of your gastrointestinal doctor before the visit.

Best of luck!
Dr. JP

Bariatric Surgery

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John Pilcher, MD


I can answer medically oriented questions about bariatric surgery including: patient selection, preparation for surgery, differences between types of bariatric surgery, aftercare following bariatric surgery. I can answer detailed questions about gastric bypass, Lap-Band, gastric sleeve, and revision bariatric surgery. I am only somewhat familiar with Biliopancreatic diversion. I am not prepared to answer insurance or other financial questions related to bariatric surgery.


I have been a practicing bariatric surgeon since 1995. About 85% of my current practice consists of bariatric surgery, including all of the above procedures except biliopancreatic diversion. I am the senior surgeon of a 5-surgeon group. I am recognized among surgeons and other medical professionals as the most experienced bariatric surgeon in my region.

Fellow of American College of Surgeons Member, American Society for Bariatric Surgery

BA in Biochemistry - University of Virginia Medical Degree - University of Virginia Surgical Residency - University of Virginia

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