Anyone had a general surgeon do proctocolectomy?

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Date Joined Dec 2008
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   Posted 9/16/2010 8:47 AM (GMT -6)   
Has anyone had a general surgeon do their proctocolectomy and ileostomy? ive talked to a general and a colorectal surgeon, who both say they can do it. i have a feeling i could get on the general surgeon's calendar more quickly.


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Date Joined Feb 2006
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   Posted 9/16/2010 8:54 AM (GMT -6)   
Here's my take. General Surgeons do a variety of surgeries but never have the opportunity to "perfect" a surgery. Colorectal surgeons have a limited scope of surgery and therefore are the experts in their field. For the same reason I would never have a general dentist do a root canal, I personally would not have a General Surgeon do a colectomy. Strictly my preference.


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Date Joined May 2009
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   Posted 9/16/2010 10:37 AM (GMT -6)   
I completely agree with Suebear. This is very complicated surgery, with a relatively high complication rate and a lot of judgement calls that need to be made along the way. Personally, I would never have let a general surgeon near my son.

The time thing may be a factor for you but most colorectal surgeons will bump you up to a closer date if you become sicker. This happened with my son. He ended up having his surgery a couple months sooner than what was booked.

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 421
   Posted 9/16/2010 12:16 PM (GMT -6)   
My surgery was done by a general surgeon AND a colorectal surgeon. My colostomy was performed by a general and my rectum removal was performed by a colorectal. They worked together over 6 hours in one shot.

RX Crohn's 1999, over 30 surgeries, 3 strokes, permanent colostomy and rectum removal.
"The most unfortunate thing that happens to a person who fears failure is that he limits himself by becoming afraid to try anything new."

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 456
   Posted 9/16/2010 4:06 PM (GMT -6)   
I had a general surgeon do my proctocolectomy at university of chicago. There are only 4 little dots as scars and the stoma came out great.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 106
   Posted 9/16/2010 7:12 PM (GMT -6)   
I think I would only want the best. We searched for the best colorectal surgeon we could find. If you are going to have it permanent it better be right the first time!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 5951
   Posted 9/16/2010 8:17 PM (GMT -6)   
     I looked on the net because my GI doctor for twelve years said he "didn't know a good colorectal surgeon".  Yeah right. 
     I chose the head of colorectal surgery at Pennsylvania Hospital in Philly.  I live in Jersey but do not trust the surgeons nor the hospitals here.  Good thing I did too because I have had some complications post op and am still having issues.  I have total confidence in my surgeon.  He said these are hurdles but I will get better with time and I believe him, although I don't feel so hot at the moment. rolleyes

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 123
   Posted 9/16/2010 9:08 PM (GMT -6)   
A general surgeon did my proctocolectomy and ileostomy. Actually 3 general surgeons worked on me for 5 hours. The stoma turned out great. No complications (knock on wood). I went with the general surgeon because he could get me on his calendar a lot sooner and when I talked with him, he inspired a great deal of confidence. He never talked down to us and explained everything. He took time to answer all of our questions. He was great.

I have no regrets about going with a general surgeon. Talk to the general surgeon and see what s/he is like. Take a list of questions with you. If you don't feel good about them, find someone else.

Just my two cents worth. YMMV.
51 - male - in North Carolina near Asheville
UC is GONE!! Permanent ilieostomy on July 8th, 2010.
Stoma is named "Sparky".

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2005
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   Posted 9/17/2010 7:04 AM (GMT -6)   
Dont go for a surgeon just because u can perhaps get in faster, be sure thats what your comfortable with first and as the others said its always a good idea to ask a list of questions. I had a great general surgeon that did my right hemi colectomy a few years ago but he would not do my ileostomy and proctocolectomy nor did my gastro want him to do it. He is a wonderful general surgeon but nothing beat a surgeon that specialises in colorectal surgeries. Just my thoughts on it, hope you make the decisions that best suits you. take care and keep us posted
Doreen :-)

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 5698
   Posted 9/17/2010 7:16 AM (GMT -6)   
And here's another difference. My colorectal surgeon did my colectomy, created the ostomy, and built the jpouch in less than 2 hours. As noted from those above, the general surgeon's that did their surgery were in the OR 5 or more hours. Experience with this surgery will give you less time in the OR.


Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 430
   Posted 9/17/2010 12:19 PM (GMT -6)   
Brian84: any chance that was my guy that did your surgery as well? Dr. Hurst?

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 24
   Posted 9/17/2010 12:33 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you for all your responses! it does make perfect sense to go with the colo-rectal surgeon because of his expertise.

ive been in a downward spiral the last couple months, dealing with two abscesses, one of which turned into a fistula. i just got a seton a week ago, which made me feel worse. it goes from my rectum to left labia, and is irritating my rectal ulcers and skin tags. besides many other crohns symptoms, i havent been able to sit comfortably, walk, exercise, or do other activities for the last three years. im tired of all the pain, running to the bathroom, and constant maintenance.

bless you all. i know many of you have gone through much more than i have.

i see the cr surgeon for a followup in a week, so i hope i can keep things moving, so i can feel better.

44 yo female, crohns 11 yrs, rt hemicolectomy 2007, rv fistula, and fistula exiting labia with seton

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 833
   Posted 9/18/2010 7:46 PM (GMT -6)   
  I had a General Surgeon do my Total Colectomy and he was awsome and good looking to boot....

Equestrian Mom
Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 3115
   Posted 9/19/2010 5:12 AM (GMT -6)   
I'm a little late answering but I'd go with a C/R Surgeon, too.

They are trained to handle all those 'what ifs' that can happen when working on the digestive track. A General Surgeon might not have that training.
Crohn’s dx 1989
some terrible years before my
temporary ileo in 2001
Proctocolectomy w/end ileo in 2008
...wish I knew then what I know NOW!
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