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IBD Causes & Risk Factors

IBD is typically a disease of young people because it often develops between the ages of 10 and 30; but it can also occur in older adults.

The exact cause of IBD is not known but is related to protective immune cells that are present in the lining of the intestines. This immune system normally turns on and off to fight harmful substances like bacteria and viruses that pass through intestines. In IBD it seems that there is an initial trigger such as an infection, something in the diet or the environment that activates the immune system. However, the difference in those who develop IBD is that the immune system does not turn off once this initial trigger ends. This leads to uncontrolled inflammation and an attack on normal intestinal cells.

Smokers are more likely to develop Crohn's disease than non-smokers. Also, among people with Crohn's disease, smokers tend to have a more aggressive form of disease than non-smokers. The reasons are not clear, but the opposite is true for ulcerative colitis. Smokers are less likely to develop ulcerative colitis and tend to have less severe symptoms than non-smokers.


All surgery presents risk, including da Vinci Surgery. Results, including cosmetic results, may vary. Serious complications may occur in any surgery, up to and including death. Examples of serious and life-threatening complications, which may require hospitalization, include injury to tissues or organs; bleeding; infection, and internal scarring that can cause long-lasting dysfunction or pain. Temporary pain or nerve injury has been linked to the inverted position often used during abdominal and pelvic surgery. Patients should understand that risks of surgery include potential for human error and potential for equipment failure. Risk specific to minimally invasive surgery may include: a longer operative time; the need to convert the procedure to an open approach; or the need for additional or larger incision sites. Converting the procedure to open could mean a longer operative time, long time under anesthesia, and could lead to increased complications. Research suggests that there may be an increased risk of incision-site hernia with single-incision surgery. Patients who bleed easily, have abnormal blood clotting, are pregnant or morbidly obese are typically not candidates for minimally invasive surgery, including da Vinci Surgery. Other surgical approaches are available. Patients should review the risks associated with all surgical approaches. They should talk to their doctors about their surgical experience and to decide if da Vinci is right for them. For more complete information on surgical risks, safety and indications for use, please refer to http://www.davincisurgery.com/da-vinci-surgery/safety-information.php.

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