Delays in Initiating Post-operative Prophylactic Biologic Therapy Are Common Among Crohn’s Disease Patients

Shirley Cohen-Mekelburg, Stephanie Gold, Yecheskel Schneider, Madison Dennis, Clara Oromendia, Heather Yeo, Fabrizio Michelassi, Ellen Scherl, Adam Steinlauf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Background: Studies have shown that prophylactic biologic therapy can reduce post-surgical Crohn’s disease recurrence. Aims: We aimed to identify the frequency of delay and risk factors associated with a delay in the initiation of prophylactic post-surgical biologic therapy in high-risk patients. Methods: We performed a cohort study of Crohn’s disease patients who underwent a bowel resection. We identified those at risk of recurrence and explored multiple characteristics for those with and without a delay post-operatively. Results: A total of 84 patients were included in our analysis of which 69.0% had a greater than 4-week delay and 56.0% a greater than 8-week delay in post-surgical biologic prophylaxis. Publicly insured patients had a 100% delay in post-surgical prophylaxis initiation (p = 0.039, p = 0.003 at 4 and 8 weeks, respectively). Patients on a biologic pre-surgery were less likely to have a delay (p < 0.001) in post-operative prophylaxis. Care at an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) center was associated with timely therapy when considering a post-operative immunomodulator or biologic strategy. Conclusions: There are a substantial number of delays in initiating post-operative prophylactic biologic therapy in high-risk patients. Identifying susceptible patients by insurance type or absence of pre-operative therapy can focus future improvement efforts. Additionally, consultation with IBD-specialized providers should be considered in peri-surgical IBD care.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)196-203
Number of pages8
JournalDigestive Diseases and Sciences
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Preventive care
  • Public payer
  • Surgery


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