Surgery was a cure for me. I had UC for 12 years, 10 of those years in remission on sulfasalazine. The last 2 years I was severly ill and no amount of enemas, 5ASA drugs, prednisone or 6MP would get me back into remission. I was taking 23 pills per day, worked full time, and was sick and exhausted. I had a GI who agreed that I needed surgery but we disagreed on the type. After tons of research and an honest look at my lifestyle I opted for a j-pouch.
Surgery does not remove your terminal ileum where calories and B-12 are absorbed. You will not become deficient. Surgery does not leave you with chronic diarrhea either as some people say. I have formed movements. Surgery removes the disease, the discomfort of UC, the cycles of illness and gives the UC sufferer a very good quality of life. Over 95% of those who opted for j-pouch surgery are satisfied with the results.
There are other surgery options and I would encourage you to research all of them AND be convinced that you are ready to take this step. Have you exhausted all the medical treatments? Is your quality of life still good? This surgery is not like having an appendix removed, this is major surgery, fairly complicated, and has a recovery period of about a year. However, that is not a year of being displaced from life, I was back at work 3 weeks post surgery, the recovery is more about your new plumbing learning how to behave like a colon.
I would run from any doctor that said this wasn't a good option. With a j-pouch I have hiked over 200 miles across England, 100 miles in Scotland and 100 miles in Ireland. I can do anything a person with a colon can do and I would be surprised if anyone knew I was plumbed differently.
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