J-Pouch Surgery Delivers Life-Altering Benefits for Patients with Ulcerative Colitis at Hackensack University Medical Center

Colorectal surgeons use robotic and laparoscopic techniques to restore patients’ quality of life


Ileoanal anastomosis, also known as J-pouch surgery, may be a treatment option for patients with ulcerative colitis (UC) that has not responded to medication.

“During a J-pouch procedure, we create a new rectum from the small intestine,” said Howard M. Ross, M.D., colorectal surgeon and Chair of Surgery/Surgeon-in-Chief at Hackensack University Medical Center. “The procedure’s name comes from the J-shape we form the small intestine into to create the reservoir.”

Typically, the procedure is performed in two stages. The first stage of the procedure involves removing the entire colon and rectum, constructing the J-pouch, and creating a temporary loop ileostomy that allows waste to be eliminated through the abdominal wall. After the patient heals for approximately three months, they will undergo another procedure to close the ileostomy. After the second procedure, the patient can pass bowel movements through the normal route.

Colorectal surgeons at Hackensack University Medical Center use laparoscopic or robotic surgical techniques to perform J-pouch surgery, providing patients with all the benefits of a minimally invasive procedure—including smaller incisions, a faster recovery, and reduced discomfort after surgery.

“We perform 100 percent of our J-pouch procedures using minimally invasive technology, and our three colorectal surgeons are among the highest volume and most experienced in the region,” said Dr. Ross.

Any patient with Crohn’s disease or UC is presented to the center’s multidisciplinary Inflammatory Bowel Disease Board, where a team of experts meets to discuss surgical and nonsurgical treatment options and develop the best care plan.

“For patients with UC that isn’t controlled by medication, J-pouch surgery can be a very effective option,” said Dr. Ross.

In addition to treating UC, the J-pouch procedure is used to treat a rare genetic condition called familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP), which causes patients to develop hundreds or thousands of pre-cancerous polyps in their colon.

“Patients with UC and FAP are at increased risk of developing colorectal cancer, and the J-pouch procedure eliminates that risk,” said Dr. Ross.

Learn more about colorectal surgery innovations at Hackensack University Medical Center.

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