Bennie, I had UC myself for ten years until having step 1 of the J-pouch surgery (laparaoscopically) at the beginning of April.
I have been reading along here for the last few months, since it became clear that I would need surgery myself. But I was just motivated to register in order to say that I hope you guys will consider getting bratcat a surgical consult with someone who does do the surgery laparoscopically. I really cannot say enough about
how big a difference it has made to me to be able to get back on my feet quickly--something that is much harder with
open surgery. I walked a mile and a half on a treadmill at my hotel (I had already been checked out of the hospital) four days after the op. There is also lower risk for adhesions, which is one of the most problematic long-term complications of this operation (and responsible for 90% of cases of intestinal obstruction, something you and she will want to avoid if at all possible). And when there is postop ileus, it is typically shorter in people who had the surgery with the scope. The success rates of the surgery are otherwise the same.
It is amazing to me how few GIs seem to know that doing this surgery with a scope is the state of the art. My own GI, who is fantastic and who practices at a major university research center, did not believe that it was commonly done until I told her about
it. My second opinion GI, who is also fantastic and practices in a somewhat smaller hospital, didn't know it either! If your insurance will cover someone who has experience with this procedure, please do consider looking into it. It is worth traveling for if you have to.
PS My incision is about
4" long, just under the pubic hairline, so it will be totally invisible once all of what they shaved for the surgery has grown back. I also have one small scar where my surgical drain was, and will have a scar of about
an inch when the stoma is closed. This is pretty typical, from what I understand--here's a picture of someone else's that looks the way mine will:
Scroll to "healing 10 weeks post-takedown."
Post Edited (Charlotte Gilman) : 5/24/2008 5:24:54 PM (GMT-6)