Crohn's disease is a chronic, progressive disabling condition ultimately leading to stricturing and/or penetrating complications. The need for surgery may be as high as 70% in patients with severe active disease or complications. However, relapse may develop in a significant proportion of the patients after surgery leading to frequent re-operations. Despite emerging data, postoperative prevention is still controversial. After careful evaluation of the individual risk a tailored therapy should be considered. In patients with small risk for relapse mesalazine or in selected cases no-treatment may be an option. In patients with a moderate-to-high risk azathioprine should be considered together with metronidazole in the three months. Follow-up ileocolonoscopy 6-12 months after the surgery is helpful in the determination of endoscopic severity and may assist in the optimization of the therapy. In most severe cases anti-TNF agents may be appropriate for postoperative prevention and therapy.
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