I think there is nothing more shocking then hearing the word "surgery" uttered by a doctor. My GI started broaching the subject to me about one year into a 2.5 year flare. Certainly if drugs are no longer helping it's probably time to have a surgical consutation. As pointed out, you can meet thousands of us who have walked in your shoes at www.j-pouch.org and many had surgery for the very reason it's being recommended for you. If you opt for surgery I would encourage you to go with a surgeon who has done many of the procedures. On the j-pouch.org board you can look through a list of surgeons that come highly recommended by those of us who have gone through it. Surgery and recovery are not easy but I can tell you having been on both sides that I prefer surgery over life with chronic UC. I am free of meds and most importantly I live a very active life that doesn't center around the bathroom!
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