Hi Keith - I have another question for you, if you don't mind. It sounds like you've elected for surgery, as opposed to having to do it... am I correct on this or is Cyclosporine not a long term option? If your decision is by choice, can you tell me a bit about why you're doing it, please (if you don't mind)? are you sick of the meds? I ask because part of me is interested in surgery, and am wondering how people make the decision. thanks.
I don't mind answering your questions.... yes it will probably be elective surgery for a couple of reasons. I've dealt with UC for 3 years and I am just sick of it and want to move on with my life without the meds and uncertainty. I've had two long hospital stays during that time and it's just been enough!!!! I have severe UC and I do not respond to steroids (never did) and 5ASAs just make me worse. The other reason is that my chance of colon cancer is higher than most others with UC; I have Pancolitis and both of my grandfathers had Colon Cancer. So it doesn't make sense to me fight this disease my whole life to maybe have my colon removed for cancer (I guess I'm a glass empty type of guy when it comes to UC).
Right now I just need to figure out how I am going to get my insurance company to pay for this surgery.... basically none of the surgeons @ Mount Sinai take insurance. Which is typical of most NYC doctors. I will add more insurance or switch insurance companies if necessary.
Cyclosporine is very fast acting....they usually use it in the most severe UC flares. It is used either to save the colon or to get the patient healthy enough for surgery. I was at approximately 30 bms a day, somedays less, other days more. After about 10 days on IV Cyclosporine I was down to about 5 bms a day. Cyclosporine usually requires a hospital stay. My GI calls it the Atom-bomb of UC treatments. It is more effective than remicade but it requires a hospital stay. http://www.ccfa.org/info/treatment/immunomodulators