Joe S.

07/21/2006

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.

After a fairly mild UC flare-up in 2003, having years of no issues - and no colonoscopies - I had a colonoscopy in November 2003. On Friday, January 02, 2004, my GI doctor called to tell me the biopsies from my colonoscopy showed severe displaysia; the clear message was the immediate need to have a total colectomy.

My surgeon did not remove the rectum and anus at this time, explaining the possibility of doing the "pull-through" procedure at a later date; he was not positive, though, of the success of the procedure. As well, he was very skeptical of my quality of life with the "pull-through." The impact of the ileostomy appliance was having a detrimental effect on my life - stress at work and at home, fear of accidents, unwillingness to participate in nearly anything involving getting out of my "comfort" zone. Life, as many of you can appreciate, had dramatically changed. And I had signs of active UC in my rectum.

A week before I was scheduled to have my rectum and anus removed due to the active UC and continuing deterioration of the rectum, my wife stumbled across an advertisement for Palms and the BCIR procedure in Parade Magazine. I showed the ad to my surgeon; he was aware of a similar procedure, though he had never seen it done nor had a patient who had had such a procedure. On July 21, 2006, I had my BCIR surgery. As with any surgery, there is always the possibility of complications. And I had a few. But, 21 days later, I was flying home. I had "died" with my ileostomy; I was reborn with the BCIR! The recovery period at home was almost without incident - the message about staying properly hydrated is serious. But, all those things I had given up - movies, theater, car shows, crawling around under cars, major home improvement projects, away from a bathroom for hours, were now, once again, possible.

Joe S.
Surgery - July 21, 2006