Posted 4/12/2010 11:13 AM (GMT -6)
Hey, I'm six days out from my second surgery (take down) feel GREAT and am already cutting my BM trips down considerably each day. I HIGHLY recommend the surgery and, as with so many others who have taken the leap, my only regret is not having done it sooner.
The first surgery was January 12, removal of the colon, rectum (and apendix), construction of the j-pouch and having the temporary ileostomy to bypass the j-pouch while it healed and got happy.
No lie, the first surgery was quite an ordeal and rather painful. I was a little depressed my first few weeks, but then I finally got the hang of the temp ileo (although my husband always had to help me with the bag changes, we got it so I stopped having leaks and we got changes down to 2-3 times a week). Around the 5th-6th week post-op I started feeling really good (REALLY good!) and my energy levels reached pre-diagnosis levels. Then I just kept eating (I lost 18 lbs the first round of surgery) was back to work, and counting the days until April 6 when I got my ileostomy reversed.
Second surgery was a piece of cake, I barely needed pain meds and was out of the hospital in a few days (first surgery was a full week). First few nights I soiled myself in my sleep, but the past two nights have been fine and I have great control in the daytime. I am wearing Depends at night until I get four more clean nights in a row under my belt. But I am assured the nocturnal issue is fairly normal and temporary, and it is proving to be so.
In researching the surgery, you should register for the forums at www.j-pouch.org and check out the links they provide for information and such, including recommended surgeons (your choice of surgeon is extremely important for this surgery. He or she should have plenty of experience with this surgery).
A very good link I found for general information is:
When I went to my surgeon for a consult his booklet and this were pretty much the same.
I suffered with UC for four years, tried numerous medications and never felt good until I had the surgery. Remicade did help me quite a bit for awhile, but drastic as it is, the surgery is the cure, and if you ever tire of being on the UC ride, it's the exit ramp.