Ulcerative Colitis Treatment

Once a diagnosis of ulcerative colitis is confirmed, a personalized treatment plan for you will be initiated. The goal of treatment is not to cure the condition, but to dramatically reduce symptoms and even bring about a long-term remission by healing the inflammation of the colon. Your treatment plan will depend on the severity of your symptoms. Levels of severity include:

  • Mild
  • Moderate
  • Severe or medically resistant

Ulcerative Colitis Treatment in Burlington, VT

We work with each individual patient to tailor an effective treatment plan. Treatments include:

  • Medication
  • Surgery
  • Nutrition management 

Medication for Ulcerative Colitis

A variety of different medications may be prescribed to attempt to control your symptoms in different ways. The medication regimen will be discussed in detail with you to make sure you understand and you are comfortable with the medication and dosing instructions. Medications include:

  • Anti-inflammatory drugs, to reduce inflammation
  • Immune system suppressors, which reduce inflammation by targeting the immune system, preventing it from attacking your bowels
  • Other medications, including probiotics

Surgery for Ulcerative Colitis

If medications do not offer sufficient relief, then surgery may be an option for you. At Fletcher Allen, all our surgeons have completed fellowships in colorectal surgery, so you can feel confident you are receiving the most expert care available.

Our surgeons may perform laparoscopic surgery, a type of minimally invasive procedure. Minimally invasive procedures result in less pain, less scarring and a shorter hospital stay and a quicker recovery compared with open abdominal procedures.

Surgery for ulcerative colitis is usually a colectomy, a procedure to remove all or part of your colon.. You and your doctor will discuss which approach will offer you the best results:

  • Ileostomy - Once we remove your colon and rectum, waste can no longer leave your body through your rectum. Instead, contents of your digestive system exit the body through a stoma, an opening. We custom fit a bag or pouch to the stoma. The bag now collects the waste and is emptied as necessary.
  • Sphincter-Preserving Surgery - During this procedure, we create a new rectum using a portion of your small bowel. This preserves your bowel function. However, patients who have this surgery may experience incontinence and a disruption in sexual function. 

Nutrition Management

A proper diet is a critical part of your ongoing care. Our registered dietitians will work with you to create a well-balanced diet, avoiding foods that may trigger symptoms and ensuring you receive the necessary nutrients. 

Contact Us

Find a Fletcher Allen physician or call us at 802-847-8865.