Psychological perspectives of inflammatory bowel disease patients undergoing surgery: Rightful concerns and preconceptions

Antonino Spinelli, Michele Carvello, Andre’ D’Hoore, Francesco Pagnini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Surgery has been associated with variable effect on the quality of life of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) patients, depending on clinical patterns and baseline disease characteristics. However, surgical treatment is often conceived by these patients with distress and considered as the failure of their therapies. Lack of control, risk of complications, defacement of the body image, need of ostomy and hospitalization may be triggering concerns leading to anguish and anxiety. Even though the quality of life in most cases generally improves after surgery, some particular aspects such as sexual activity, bowel movements and the ability to deal with a possible stoma may present a slower amelioration trend. These problems represent common causes of distress and may lead to an heightened risk of depression and anxiety with respect to background population. The psychological impact and apprehension surrounding surgery will be discussed in this review. Pros and cons of the surgical treatment in various IBD populations and its long-term sequelae in terms of quality of life and psychological well-being will be highlighted. Furthermore the tools to encompass these issues such as complete patient information, gastroenterologist/surgeon synergy and psychological counseling will be explored analyzing their respective roles.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1074-1078
Number of pages5
JournalCurrent Drug Targets
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2014


  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Perception of surgery
  • Psychology
  • Surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Drug Discovery
  • Pharmacology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Molecular Medicine


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