I did respond to your other post but you brought up some different questions here which I will respond to.
This surgery, and any surgery is scary. Sometimes we all feel it's better to live how we are, because it is familiar, rather than gamble on the unknown. For this same eason it took me about a year to make the decision. What changed it was meeting a j-poucher face to face. She happened to be my RN while I was on hospital bed rest with my last big flare. She looked great! She lived a normal life. She worked 10 hours a day, had a baby, and ran marathons! I would not have believed all that was possible had I not met her in person.
There is a condition called Pouchitis which doctors believe is caused by bacterial overgrowth. I have never had it but I understand it's similar to the flu. I take probitocs to keep my inventory of good bacteria high, who knows, this may offset it? For most pouchers this is an occasional problem, for about 1% it's chronic. Again, many of us have never had it.
about 95% (as confirmed on the j-pouch.org board) are happy with their j-pouches. Some do fail for a variety of reasons, mostly I think, because they had Crohn's disease, not UC. If you read that board don't get discouraged (as with this board) with the discussion topics. These boards are mainly designed for people having problems or who are contemplating surgery. Most of us who are satisfied wiht our new plumbing are out living life and don't participate in discussion any longer.
When I awoke from surgery I could IMMEDIATELY tell that my UC and IBS were gone! I never knew what it felt like to feel like a normal person and I started crying when I no longer had discomfort from the disease. I also ended my long term relationship (doctor/patient) with my GI and no longer take any medications. Life is very good indeed.
dx proctitis in 1987
dx UC in 1991, was stable until 1998
1998 started prednisone, asacol, pentasa, nortriptylene, ativan, 6MP, rowasa enemas and suppositories, hydrocortisone enemas, tried the SCD diet, being a vegetarian, omega 3s, flax, pranic healing, yoga, acupuncture, probiotics
2000 lost all my B-12 stores and became anemic
2001 opted for j-pouch surgery- now living life med-free