Laparoscopic Surgery Can Cure Ulcerative Colitis

At age 17, Katie Hopwood was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, a painful and debilitating chronic inflammation of the colon.


For Hopwood, a three-sport athlete with a bright future and an active lifestyle, managing the pain and bloody diarrhea quickly become a nightmare. After years of trying to find a medicine that would control her symptoms, the condition became unmanagable.


UW Health Colon and Rectal Surgeons, Bruce Harms, MD and Charles Heise, MD, used a minimally invasive approach to remove Katie's inflamed colon and reconstruct her lower small intestine. The medical term for the surgery is laparoscopic restorative proctocolectomy, and UW Hospital's colon and rectal program is one of the only in the state that offers the procedure.


Katie's Story


Living with ulcerative colitis was incredibly stressful for Katie. In the video series below, she reflects on living with the condition and the significant difference surgery made.