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Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 172
   Posted 6/15/2008 10:43 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi everyone,

I am usually a member of the Ulcerative Colitis forum, but sadly after years of turmoil with this condition I have decided to get some information on surgery - just in case.

I would like to know from those of you who had UC and have opted for surgery whether the procedure was painful?

How many bowel movements a day did you have before you opted for surgery?

Also, how long did the recovery take until you were able to go back to work?

For those of you who are males is your sex life impaired. (erection problems etc)?

Is a Ileostomy painful to touch?

Many thanks for all replies,


Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 420
   Posted 6/15/2008 12:48 PM (GMT -7)   
I had my colectomy and ileostomy due to UC. I was leaning towards the operation, and then my liver began failing because of all the meds, so it became a no- brainer.
I can tell you this. The surgery is a big one. It isn't fun or easy. HOWEVER, it is sooo worth it, at least it was for me. I felt a zillion times better with my ileo. I went back to the gym because I finally had energy again. I lost 60 pounds of pred weight. The surgery itself is painful while you recover. But you get good pain meds! The ileosotmy does not hurt to touch - it doesn't have nerve endings, so that impossible. You can develop sores around the stoma, and those may itch or hurt a little, but not everyone gets them.
I am opting for a jpouch. I had step two of my three step process a couple weeks ago. I can't wait for step 3 and to have this over with, I can tell you that! But I do wish I had done this long ago. I'm a girl, so I can't help on the guy stuff :). What else? Oh - I went back to work a couple motnhs after my first surgery. My recovery was a little long, because I was so so sick going into it.
I will tell you that the healthier you can be when you go into surgery the better, So take care of yourself.
Keep us updated on you! And ask all the questions you want.
If at first you do not succeed, then skydiving is surely not meant for you.
Jo - UC, total colectomy and ileostomy on August 24, 2008.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 6571
   Posted 6/15/2008 2:35 PM (GMT -7)   
well i am sorry you have to be here, but we are happy to help!

surgery is painful, but like Jo said, you get lots of pain meds (morphine is your friend, lol) and the pain is different, because to me, i knew that it was going to go away, and the pain from UC was never going to go away.
As for how many times i went to the bathroom before hand, i don't know i never actually counted, but i can tell you it was a whole lot.

It isn't painful to touch, it isn't supposed to have any feelings, but to me, it feels a little weird if i bump it with something. But not painful.

I can't help with the guy stuff, but i have seen posts from men and not seen any of them have that problem.

I don't work full time, so i didnt' really go back to work, i was back cleaning the house and doing yard work in about 6 weeks. I went back to my part time job after about three months, but that was because of hte way the schedule was made, i could have gone back after about a month probably.
It takes a while to fully get your energy back and for the pain to complety go away, but life is SOOO much better afterwards!

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 99
   Posted 6/15/2008 2:36 PM (GMT -7)   

I am only three weeks out of surgery so I cannot answer all of the questions but here goes with what I know.

  • I would like to know from those of you who had UC and have opted for surgery whether the procedure was painful?     It was painful after the surgery but was controlled by the pain medications.  I was able to get through it by knowing that the pain was only temporary and again within an hour of waking up in recovery the pain was under control.
  • How many bowel movements a day did you have before you opted for surgery?     At the time I had surgery I was averaging eight a day for the last few months, and it was everyday.  Prior to that I had days I would have just one or two then the next day have eight or ten so again I was averaging probably six or so it was just not everyday.
  • Also, how long did the recovery take until you were able to go back to work?     This one I cannot answer.  I was put on family medical leave back in February.  I drove truck long haul and was unable to do my job do to the daily episodes.  I am able to do limited work around the house right now so I am encouraged that it won't be long before I can look for employment again.
  • For those of you who are males is your sex life impaired. (erection problems etc)?     No, it didn't impair my ability in reference to an erection although I have heard that up to 5% of surgery can result in ED problems.  There is a but though, it will change the way you and your partner see it.  I am sure over time both my spouse and myself will adjust to it but for now I seem to have a few hangups.  Considering how soon it has been after surgery and that I am adjusting to having stoma on my belly it will probably be a while before I am comfortable with sex again, plus I am still recovering so I probably don't want to get too active, LOL.
  • Is a Ileostomy painful to touch?     No, it has no feeling but the skin and muscle of the belly does so getting used to the sensations that you feel there takes a little getting use to.  When things move through it or when you touch it (stoma), it has a tickling sensation but I am sure in time it becomes commonplace. 

I can say one thing though, eight hours after getting out of surgery I felt "cured".  I have no other words for it other than "healthy" or "clean".  I was amazed, my surgeon told me I would feel this but I never expected it would be of such magnitude nor so quickly.

Anymore questions, go ahead and ask.  Like I said I am only three weeks out of a total colectomy so I have only limited experience so far.  Others will hopefully join in and give you a broader perspective with these questions also.  I am possibly looking at doing the j-pouch surgery but that is something my wife and I will discuss later to decide if that is what is right for us. 


Total Colectomy with End Ileostomy May 27th, 2008

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