Pouchitis is an inflammation of the lining of a pouch that is surgically created in the treatment of ulcerative colitis and certain other diseases. Many people with serious ulcerative colitis end up having their diseased colon removed and the bowel reconnected with this procedure, called ileoanal anastomosis (IPAA) or J-pouch surgery.

Surgeons use the end of the small intestine (ileum) to create a pouch shaped like the letter J. The pouch is attached internally to the area just above the anus to hold waste before it's eliminated.

Pouchitis is a complication of IPAA that occurs in 23 to 46 percent of people who have the procedure. Symptoms can include diarrhea, abdominal pain and joint pain, cramps, fever, increased number of bowel movements, nighttime fecal seepage, fecal incontinence, and a strong feeling of the need to have a bowel movement.

June 11, 2015