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Surgical Aspects of Celiac Disease

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Celiac disease, characterized by intestinal inflammation and malabsorption, occurs in 1 per cent of the population and is often undiagnosed. These patients are at increased risk for surgical procedures resulting from symptoms, associated intestinal disorders, and malignancy. Our aim was to determine the incidence and outcome of abdominal operations in patients with celiac disease. Records of 512 adult patients with celiac disease evaluated over a 22-year period were reviewed. Operations were classified as related or unrelated to celiac disease. One hundred eighty-eight (36%) of 512 patients underwent abdominal operations. One hundred twenty-seven (68%) of the 188 patients had unrelated procedures. Sixty-one (32%) had operations considered related to celiac disease. Twenty-six (43%) of 61 with related procedures were diagnosed preoperatively. Procedures were performed for pain, obstruction, motility disorders, and malignancy. Six patients had recurrent pancreatitis. Seven patients underwent liver transplantation. Thirty-five (57%) related procedures led to the diagnosis of celiac disease including “unmasking” (n = 25) and diagnostic findings (n = 10). One-third of patients with celiac disease undergo abdominal operations of which one-third are related to celiac disease. Operations are related to complications of celiac disease and often lead to the initial diagnosis.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Surgery, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha Nebraska, USA

Publication date: 01 February 2015

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  • The Southeastern Surgical Congress owns and publishes The American Surgeon monthly. It is the official journal of the Congress and the Southern California Chapter of the American College of Surgeons, which all members receive each month. The journal brings up to date clinical advances in surgical knowledge in a popular reference format. In addition to publishing papers presented at the annual meetings of the associated organizations, the journal publishes selected unsolicited manuscripts. If you have a manuscript you'd like to see published in The American Surgeon select "Information for Authors" from the Related Information options below. A Copyright Release Form must accompany all manuscripts submitted.
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