Yup, yup, what Randy said!!! Crohn's most often strikes first at the area where the small intestine joins the cecum (the first part of the colon) which is ALSO where the appendix "hangs out".
There's research to indicate that removal of the appendix provides some protection for the colon and ulcerative colitis, but also tends to make one more prone to Crohn's disease. Once Crohn's strikes it tends to move "upstream" rather than "downstream".
I had my "healthy" appendix out in 1973 during an elective tubal ligation. I didn't want it removed but had no choice, the surgeon insisted if they went in for any reason they took it out. I wish I had known then what I know now. I wouldn't have given consent and/or would have asked for a copy of the pathologist's report even tho I was having no symptoms or problems.
I first encountered Crohn's symptoms in mid-'75 at 33 years of age, was Dx'd w/Crohn's in early '76 but couldn't tolerate the only med offered to me, asulfadine. So I went unmedicated for 2 1/2 years at which time I had an emergency resection of 18" of the mid-ileum (small intestine). I THEN ENJOYED A 20 YEAR REMISSION!
When the Crohn's returned in 1998, symptoms were mild and Pentasa kept me in AT LEAST symptomatic remission for 5 years until 2003. Imuran was then added w/the Pentasa and they have kept me in AT LEAST symptomatic remission for 5 years until 2008. Active disease symptoms are again mild, but the partial obstruction at the old resection site has narrowed enough that it is time for me to consider a second resection to get rid of that partial obstruction and the stretched out area above it.
And by the way: an intestinal resection does NOT necessarily mean an ostomy bag by ANY stretch of the imagination. MOST resections do NOT require an ostomy bag. "We" have some 20 feet of small intestine so we can "spare" quite of a bit of small intestine before an ostomy bag would be needed.
Some people are like Slinkies... Not really good for anything, but they still bring a smile to your face when you push them down a flight of stairs.
Post Edited (CrohnieToo) : 9/6/2008 10:02:56 AM (GMT-6)