Hey fellow Aussies
Have some great news, I wanted to have the K-pouch in Australia and wrote about
it maybe being available here 2008. Well world renowned surgeon Prof Fazio came over in Feb 2009 and trained an amazing surgeon Prof Mackay in Melbourne Australia (on me). There was a team of 5 surgeons and although I found it a really tough surgery (17 days in Epworth Eastern Hospital Melbourne) for me it has been a gift compared to living with the "permanent Ilestomy for 17 years since I was a teenager).
Prof Mackay is from St Vincents Melbourne and is the Director of Epworth and did an amazing job along with Prof Fazio from Cleveland Hospital. Prof Fazio is coming out again in Feb 2010 to perform further K-pouches.
For me I found it quite an ordeal and over 1 1/2 years to have it possible to get the K-pouch. So I really want to ackowledge the surgeons for bringing it into Australia and putting it through our medical system.
My experience of having the K-pouch operation and in Australia.
1. Currently I believe it is only being done by Prof Mackay and his team at Epworth Eastern Private Hospital in Melbourn Australia. Prof Mackay office is (61) 3 9895 7633. Secretary is Glynis. (I travelled from Sydney)
2. Was in Hospital for 17 days and stayed down there for 2 months (Parents came down with me and we stayed in a caravan park)
3. The Prof's, Dr's and Nurses were incredible and very professional
4. It was covered by medicare and private health insurance (MBF)
5. Very tough operation and recovery time was long however I remember reading this from others in the US which helped
6. I had trouble inserting the tube and still do sometimes, we don't have access to the same appliances as in the USA.
7. For me I would prefer the K-pouch over the ileostomy. It brings with it its own set of things to deal with - for me it is the time it takes to empty and the tube not always going in easily. However it also gives a freedom that I wanted compared to living with the active ileostomy. I still eat mostly anything, exercise, boggieboard, dance which I did all before the K-pouch but now it is with so much more freedom.
If anyone would like to enquire about
the k-pouch in Australia I would recommend contacting Prof Mackay and his Team and or I would be happy to email with you.
Also I was diagnosed with Crohnes and it was in remission for the 17 years after having the ileostomy.
I wish everyone dealing with this all the best. And really want to thank many from the USA for what you wrote and shared on the chat rooms and throuh email as it really helped to make it happen in Australia
CMM (Aussie girl permanent ileostomy for 17 years to now a K-pouch - Yeh)