There are some sufferers of colitis whose symptoms are at a level that has made the need for surgery unavoidable. The risk is that the bowel will perforate if left much longer. Yet there are many sufferers who, when experiencing what can be periods of severe symptoms, view surgery for colitis as a path back to health. This though is usually not the correct action to take.
Before any action is taken there are two questions that you must ask yourself and answer honestly. Firtsly, you must seriously consider whether the current prevailing quality of life is actually as restricted and unliveable as you consider it to be. If you have been able to cope with a pattern of relapses and then undertake a recovery sufficiently well to ensure that you enjoy good health again then surgery does not seem to be the most obvious choice to make. Yes, there will be times during a relapse when you feel that it would be wonderful to take action and rid yourself of the cause of the disease. Yet with such a pattern of relapse then a period of remission which can last years, few doctors would ever recommend surgery. You have to take into account that the actual number of relapses may reduce in number with the periods of remission longer which could be the result of a greater understanding of how to ensure you have given yourself the best chance to reduce the instances of a relapse happening through greater awareness of how to reduce the chances of colitis symptoms occurring in the first place.
The other major question that requires to be considered is the underlying risk of undergoing surgery. Don't underestimate the operative procedures involved which are complicated, lenghty and, as with any surgical procedure, there is a risk. In addition to the risk from infection, there is the unknown factor of the body's reaction to such a fundamental change that has happened on such an important organ of the body. Ultimately, the figure is as high as 20% of those who have had operations that the body rejects the surgery and further operative procedures are undertaken to reverse some of the work undertaken. It should be noted that a higher risk pertains to the rejection of a pouch than that for a formation of an ileostomy.
It is appropriate to also consider one further important aspect of when diagnosed with colitis. It is a popular misconception with many people who do not have colitis to think that, once diagnosed, there will be an inevitably about the requirement for surgery as the symptoms run out of control. It is in fact incorrect as only a very small percentage, and we are talking of less than 10% who suffer from colitis, will ever have to face up to the prospect of undergoing a surgical procedure.
It is a choice that only the individual can make as to whether they should proceed with surgery for colitis. This should only be made after a thorough review of the circumstances and an understanding of how the disease has affected you and what the future holds, having regard to the general quality of life and the degree to which colitis inhibits it. It is very beneficial for those with colitis and considering surgery to be fully informed and to take advice from other former sufferers who have faced this dilemma of not only the prospect of surgery but who have actually agreed to undergo the whole process and the real life consequences of such.
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