Pouchitis is inflammation that occurs in the lining of a pouch created during surgery to treat ulcerative colitis or certain other diseases. Many people with ulcerative colitis need to have their diseased colon removed and the bowel reconnected with a procedure called ileoanal anastomosis (J-pouch) surgery.

In 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 J-pouch surgery. It occurs in about one-quarter to nearly one-half of the people who have the procedure.


Signs and symptoms of pouchitis can include diarrhea, abdominal pain, joint pain, cramps and fever. Other signs and symptoms include an increased number of bowel movements, nighttime stool leakage, difficulty controlling bowel movements and a strong urge to have a bowel movement.