FAQ: Should surgery for Crohn’s disease be delayed as long as possible? Many people feel in retrospect that they waited too long before embarking on surgery. If the symptoms due to a "blockage" then surgery is required - tablets will not work.. Surgery involves a resection of bowel but trying to maintain as much functional bowel as possible. Another option in some patients with short segments of diseased bowel is stricturoplasty. This is a refashioning process without removal of any bowel.The chance of needing surgery in Crohn’s disease increases with time.The risk is approximately 25% at 7 years and 50% at 15 years. A symptomatic recurrence after the first operation occurs in 35 - 50% of patients after 5 years. Overall 20% will require a second operation (long-term follow-up information).These figures are decreasing as medical treatment improves. Recurrent disease can be observed well before symptoms arise if there is inspection of the bowel by colonoscopy and this can help plan further treatment with the hope of preventing further surgery. Stopping smoking is crucial.