The surgery is complete removal of the colon. An ileostomy is created, and you evacuate into a bag which is emptied when needed. Most people choose to have the surgery as the first step in receiving a "j-pouch", where a J-shaped pouch is created from the ileum (part of the small intestine) to serve as an artificial rectum, and the small intestine is then attached to the pouch on one end and the pouch is attached to the rectal stump on the other. This is one or two major surgeries, and it takes about
a year to get back into a regular routine.
I think one reason we wait is we hope for better medical solutions. Once your colon is gone, it's gone for good, and a few people have problems after surgery.
If you're in Canada, I believe your first step is to try to get a referral to a GI. Sooner rather than later, so you can get started on treatment. It would also be beneficial to you to try to get a primary care doctor. I'd strongly encourage you to get your care where you live, as whatever you decide you'll need lifetime monitoring.
There are no stupid questions here. We've all had to learn this stuff that we never dreamed we'd need to know. This is the place you can talk about
it, ask questions, even whine from time to time and everyone will understand. That's what we're here for.
Moderate to severe left-sided UC (21 cm) diagnosed 2001.
Asacol, Rowasa, Pentasa, Prednisone, Entocort, Azathioprine
Colazal, Remicade, Nature's Way Primadophilus Reuteri.
In remission since April, 2006. Remicade has been my wonder drug.
Co-Moderator UC Forum