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Patient Testimonials

We are always happy to share stories from our patients. Hopefully, they will help you gain more insight regarding how life might be with a Barnett Continent Intestinal Reservoir (BCIR). In addition, once you have surgery, we are committed to a smooth transition back home - you may find our "Patient Tips" helpful.

Our Patient Testimonials include stories and photos from actual patients. However, since we cannot assure you that your outcome will match the portrayals of these patients - we suggest you visit the Clinical Studies page where you will see data that reflects our outcomes that have been published in medical journals. The stories of our patients are not intended to replace the services of a trained health professional or to be a substitute for medical advice of physicians.

If you'd like to receive more information or a list of past patients with a BCIR, please email Susan Kay, R.N or call her at 1-800-336-0789. Don't forget to ask her to send you a CD about the BCIR procedure.

Some of our patients have shared their success stories with us. Hopefully, they will help you gain more insight regarding how life might be with a Barnett Continent Intestinal Reservoir.

  • Michael  


    I live with a Barnett Continent Ileostomy Reservoir, or BCIR for short. I am also using my hobbies, which are bodybuilding, acting, and modeling to help motivate others who have digestive diseases and who are struggling to find a solution to their digestive issues. The BCIR, in my opinion, is by far the best procedure to have if you have no choice but to get your colon removed. I know this because I've lived with the ileostomy bag and the j-pouch, the two most commonly used procedures to have after your colon is removed. The BCIR is not as well known, but I'm educating people on how much more comfortable you'll be with the BCIR versus the j-pouch or the ileostomy bag

    Age at surgery: 29

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  • Jeananne  


    I had a J-pouch and I was miserable. My mom, sister and I prayed for a miracle. We then saw an advertisement in the Phoenix Ostomy magazine. That was the day my life changed! I had my BCIR surgery and I have never felt better or have been happier. I owe my life to Dr. Rehnke. I am now 25 years old and have been reborn

    Age at surgery: 25

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  • Pam  


    This is a picture of the bike and run portion of the Sprint Triathlon. It was a 250 meter swim, 10 mile bike and 2.5 mile run. I started training 8 weeks prior to the event with two goals in finish and not finish last! I am proud to report that I met both goals! At 63 years old, I was the third oldest participant (out of 170 women). I would have NEVER attempted that kind of activity when I was wearing an external pouch...out of fear of it showing through my clothes and also fear of leakage or the worse yet, it coming dislodged! I have been bitten by the exercise bug and will continue to train for future events. I have to add that I heard several girls express concern about having to go to the bathroom or having a 'diarrhea attack' when they got nervous before an event...I thought, 'If they only knew!'

    Age at surgery: 39

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  • Lisa  


    It has been 10 months since my surgery and life is wonderful! I can go to the beach and not worry where a restroom is. I can wear light colored clothes again and not be stopped by the TSA in the airport. I thank God every day for this wonderful gift.

    Age at surgery: 54

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  • Brian  


    I trusted Dr. Rehnke and the BCIR staff with my life and in turn they gave me my life back--better than it was before. A small hospital in St. Petersburg, Florida not only restored my health, but my faith in the medical profession in this country. So that's two miracles and still counting . . .

    Age at surgery: 48

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  • Rita  


    It is much easier to change and shower at the gym!!! I do yoga every day. Other days I mix up weight training, biking, swimming, walking, and golf. And I like to shoot BB baskets. I'm lucky to work at an awesome fitness center.

    Age at surgery: 60

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  • Lynda S.


    Ulcerative Colitis started for me when I was in my 20's - horrible pain - terrible diarrhea - large amounts of blood in my stools. What followed next was several years of extremely high doses of prednisone - many hospital admissions where I was put on IV antibiotics and prednisone. The prednisone made my face balloon and sent me into depths of depression. I lost my job and basically I lost my life. I was about 27 years old and I was on food stamps. I was a college graduate and I was unable to support myself because I never knew when a flare up would occur. It was horrible and very difficult for me to accept.

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  • Jim S.


    I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis at age 46. It's such a strange disease, because it slowly changes your life. You start avoiding activities where you're unsure of the availability of bathrooms. Or you find yourself too fatigued from the around the clock bathroom trips to make it to the 10 o'clock news. I found myself taking medications that changed me into an angry guy.

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  • Eileen R.


    At 25, after ten years of dealing with Ulcerated Colitis I had a conventional ileostomy. At the time I remember thinking, "Why did I wait so long?" Not being tied to the bathroom, and for that matter not having to know where every public bathroom was in the county, improved my quality of life. But over the next 26 years I dealt with an increasing number of problematic issues: revisions, skin irritations, leakages due to the clamps coming off or lack of adherence and the ever-interesting phenomena of the pouch blowing or filling up at the most inconvenient time.

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  • Robin  


    Dr. Rehnke performed my BCIR surgery in 2007 and he gave me a life back without wearing a bag on my side. I wore a bag for 35 years. Now I am bag free and LOVE it. Thank you Dr. Rehnke for all you did!

    Age at surgery: 47

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  • Joe S.


    I was diagnosed with UC in 1970, several months after my appendectomy. My UC, based on what I have read and heard was fairly mild. I had few serious bouts with the typical symptoms; basically I ate anything I wanted with no ill effects. Other than the flare-ups, the UC did not have any major impacts on my lifestyle.

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  • Kim M.


    Having the BCIR surgery was the best decision I ever made! I feel awesome and it has improved the quality of my life ten-fold! It's so nice being completely pain free and to be in control of my body. That's not how my life was with my J-Pouch. I owe my new life to Dr. Rehnke.

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  • Shelly J.


    I finally came to the conclusion that I needed surgery and I needed it now. I couldn't live my life this way and something had to be done. Thank God one of my colleagues mentioned that her husband had colitis when he was in college. After talking to him about his experiences with multiple surgeries, he told me that he finally went to Palms of Pasadena hospital and had a BCIR done. He said he has a normal and very active life. After researching it more, I realized this is what I wanted, what I needed to get my life back.

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  • Barbara  


    I was fortunate that on the eve of getting an ileostomy I heard an advertisement on the radio while at work. After research I contacted Palms of Pasadena and in 2005 had my Barnett Continent Intestinal Reservoir. It is the best thing I ever did.

    Age of surgery: 54

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  • Ed J.


    Prior to my BCIR, I suffered with Ulcerative colitis for almost eight years and had no life. Twelve years ago, I had a BCIR and feel that if it was not for this surgery, I probably would not be on this side of the grass. The BCIR has given me great freedom and I count my blessings daily. It has allowed me to do the things I enjoy the most which is cherish my family and friends, be active and laugh often.

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  • Mike O.


    At the age of 30 I had a conventional ileostomy performed. I was happy that I was no longer sick, but I just didn't feel like I had much of a life. My main problem was I could not get the appliances to stick. I tried all the different appliances available, worked with ET nurses and even resorted to cosmetic surgery to reduce some of my scars - hoping this would aid the situation.

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  • Jennifer M.


    I am a mother of twins and I want everyone to know that having a baby with a BCIR can be a wonderful experience. My quality of my life improved greatly after having BCIR surgery, but now that I've created, carried and cared for two babies, my quality of life has reached a new high I never imagined possible. At the age of 21, I finally understood the reason for my constant stomach aches that had always plagued me. After seven years of bleeding, discomfort, living in the bathroom, steroids and other powerful drugs, and endless colonoscopy procedures, I decided to have a Barnett Continent Intestinal Reservoir (BCIR).

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  • Leeanne L.


    I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis (UC) at age 19 and waged war against it for 10 years. I was in and out of various hospitals 19 times during that ten year period with an average stay of one month. As UC wore me down I lost my job and became literally house-bound because I had to be near a bathroom. Before having a BCIR though, I had a Koch pouch that lasted nearly 18 years. The Koch operation was performed at a local hospital and failed within days of my release. The local doctor, who claimed to know the procedure butchered and nearly killed me. He put me in ICU for a week after surgery.

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  • Dawn K.


    I was first diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in 1982, I was 11 years old, and I was put on all kinds of drugs to see if they would help. I ended up on high doses of Prednisone for a long time. When I was 27, I decided that 16 years was enough and looked into surgery. I found the BCIR and wouldn't settle for less. From the first person that I talked to on the phone, to the nurse that walked me out the door leaving the hospital, they were all very personable and professional. I never met a more wonderful bunch of people in my whole life.

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  • Renay J.


    My story really begins in my twenties when I was out on my own and enjoying all of the comforts of life. Slowly I began to notice a problem with diarrhea, a problem that wasn't constant but frequent. However in time, my problem worsened and the diarrhea was a constant. I began to handle the situation by dropping out of all of the events that surrounded my life; no more skiing as it was too difficult to get to a restroom and get out of my ski clothing in time, and no more softball as I may have an accident in the middle of the winning play at short stop. My life, my game had changed.

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  • Kathy C.


    I had a Brooke ileostomy in 1995 at age 42. I had never been sick a day in my life and then bam, I spent the summer in and out of the hospital where they diagnosed me with Ulcerative Colitis. Three months later I had the Brooke. I was so ill-prepared and hated every moment of life with the Brooke. As soon as I learned about the BCIR, I knew it was right for me. In 1997, I had the BCIR and I now have a whole new life and love every bit of it. Dr. Rehnke is a great surgeon and doctor. All the Palms BCIR staff is absolutely the best.

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  • Robin D.


    Well, my story is like many others. At the age of 17 I was diagnosed with UC. I took various medications and was able to keep it under control for several years. However by September of 1991, it was no longer responsive to medication and I had a Brooke ileostomy. I was 31 years old and married with two children. My son had started playing baseball and wanted me to help coach his team. (I wanted to coach, too.) There were some things that were not as easy to do with an ostomy, but you can't let it keep you from going and doing to the best of your new physical limitations and abilities.

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  • Bill M.


    After twenty years of cycles of remission and severe distress, a routine colonoscopy revealed signs of a precancerous condition. At that time, I underwent a traditional ileostomy. This surgery gave me back control of my life. I was no longer a prisoner of the disease. I could come and go at will and did not have to extensively plan my itineraries around the bathroom. What a relief!

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  • Tom D.


    Like many people who are burdened with ulcerative colitis, I went through my twenties knowing that I suffered from what I called "abnormal frequencies of intestinal discharge," and that there better be a toilet right behind me when the urge occurred. Finally, when I was twenty-eight, I ultimately had to have a total proctocolectomy and ileostomy. Having spent my life trying to maintain a good physique, I almost fainted when I awoke and saw my new stoma. I never got used to using the various appliances necessary to maintain my ileostomy and wanted an alternative.

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