HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Hartford’s Mayor Luke Bronin is having colon surgery this weekend to treat his ulcerative colitis. Doctors will perform laparoscopic abdominal surgery to remove Bronin’s colon on Saturday.
Bronin, 42, says he’s been dealing with ulcerative colitis for a number of years and it has become more severe in recent years. He knows a lot of people deal with the condition which can have a serious impact on one’s quality of life.
“I think it’s strange and some ways to talk about this publicly but I also think it’s important to just acknowledge it, talk about it transparently because a lot of people deal with the same thing,” says Bronin.
He says he appreciates all of the well wishes and looks forward to getting the surgeries done.
Yale Medicine Gastroenterologist Badr Al Bawardy explains what ulcerative colitis is.
“A chronic condition that typically affects any part of the colon. It’s an autoimmune condition in which patients are genetically susceptible to it.”
Dr. Bawardy says it can cause conditions that include abdominal pain, diarrhea, and even blood in the stool. That can cause dehydration, a loss of blood, and loss of the ability to absorb proper nutrients.
He says many patients are able to treat ulcerative colitis with medications that regulate the immune system.
If surgery is necessary the colon is removed, he says usually laparoscopically with fewer incisions.
“The small intestine is brought down to the anal rectal area and kind of formed in the shape of a ‘j’,” explains Dr. Bawardy who adds, “It can sort of replace the rectum that was taken out.”
Mayor Bronin will be out for a few weeks and will have another surgery in about two months.