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Medical Procedure Costs and Surgical Rates in Patients with Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Studies show that surgical rates in IBS patients are increased, even though there is no evidence the procedures are beneficial. Surgery is not a treatment for IBS. Yet IBS patients are exposed to more surgical procedures than the general population: the risk is 2–3 times higher for an IBS patient to have gallbladder surgery, appendectomy or hysterectomy; and 10 times higher for colon surgery. The lack of globally effective treatments and clear explanation of the symptoms in IBS contributes to increased utilization of diagnostic testing and predisposes the IBS patients to unnecessary surgical procedures. This fact sheet provides an overview of surgeries and risks in IBS patients.

Topics: Constipation, difficult to pass stools, Diarrhea, loose stools, Fact Sheet, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Lower Abdominal Pain, Pelvic Pain

About the Authors

  • Alexandru Gaman, MD

    Research Fellow, Gastrointestinal Unit, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston MA

  • Braden Kuo, MD

    Assistant Physician, Gastrointestinal Unit, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston MA

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