Thursday, August 21, 2008 Ali, Community Member, asks

Q: When is removing your colon an option?

At what point does having your colon removed become an option?  I have UC, was diagnosed almost 4 years ago, and haven't quite been able to get a flare under control for the past year.  I was switched from Sulfasalazine to Asacol last summer when I initially flared, but then I slipped back into a terrible flare at the beginning of this year (which I think was partly caused by a switch to Lialda - I don't think my body was taking to the time-released doses).  I started 6-MP more than 6 months ago, and was on Prednisone until a couple weeks ago (still on Asacol - 12 pills per day).  I was being tapered off the Pred, and I was doing okay, but after being completely off Pred for only 2 weeks, I was already starting to see bad signs in my bowel movements... and then last night I was very sick.  My doctor thinks it was something I ate and just wants to watch me for the next week or so.  But I'm sick of this!  If it turns out to be a flare again/still, I don't know if I want to try a higher dose of 6-MP or switch to Remicade!  And I'm also worried that I'm a high risk for colon cancer in the future.  Would it just be better to have my colon removed?

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Answers (2)
Elizabeth Roberts, Health Guide
8/22/08 5:12pm

Hi Ali,


I'm sorry to hear you're having such a rough go of it! There's a lot of talk out there recently about "just removing the colon" to get rid of UC. This is definitely an option. But, it is not a reversible option (i.e. once it's removed, your colon can't be put back) so you have to do as much research as you can about the pros and cons of it. I've read where people think having their colon removed was the best decision they ever made. But, on the flip side, I've also read stories from people who say they're having more problems and symptoms after the colon's removal. I know has stories from people and hopefully others here will be able to share the experiences with you.


Also, really talk to your doctors about all of your frustrations and concerns. And if you feel he/she isn't listening or getting what you're saying, then find another doctor with whom you can really communicate.


Best of luck to you,


Jack, Community Member
11/18/09 9:46am

I had UC for many years I had my colon removed about 7 years ago I now wear the pouch. I have had some accdents with it but most of all thing have been good .I do say that a person should check out all the differnt way there are to have it done so if you can have it done with out the pouch you may fill better about it. I worked full time on till I retired and now work part time and the wearing of the pouch has not given me any problems         Thank you so much for this site

perty66, Community Member
11/ 5/10 11:15am

my brother has uc and two day ago they removed his colon drs tried every meds that you are taking and nothing worked he seem to be doing very well and said he would not change a thing 

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By Ali, Community Member— Last Modified: 01/20/12, First Published: 08/21/08