Crohn’s and Colon Surgery, Part 3: Time for My Procedure

Editor's note: Lisa Burks describes her series: In the past month, I have written about Crohn's and colon surgery. Part 1 was about preparing for colon surgery, and in Part 2, I discussed the types of colon surgeries. To complete the series, I'm going to tell my story about having a hemicolectomy. Why did I need one? In June 2015, I developed a colon obstruction. While I was hospitalized with the obstruction, a colorectal surgeon came to see me. He explained it was imperative that I have surgery because of how diseased and damaged a large portion of my colon was and I was at a high risk for additional obstructions, infections, or worse. That was scary enough, but my GI doctor thought having the surgery would give me a better chance of achieving remission down the road. That alone was a big reason why I agreed to surgery. My surgeon determined that laparoscopic surgery would be the best route in my case. Before I could have my surgery, however, I needed to start preparing for it. At the time, I was taking two medications that I needed to stop, Humira (adalimumab) and prednisone. Both of these medications can lower the body’s healing process and ability to fight off infections. Ideally, I needed to be off Humira for at least four weeks. We also had to find a way to lower my dose of prednisone. Since I had been on the steroid for 11 years at that time, I was unable to stop taking it completely. Our goal was for me to get to the lowest dose possible. Surgery time! On July 31, 2015, I underwent a laparoscopic left hemicolectomy. My surgeon removed part of the transverse (top) and the entire left side (descending) portions of my colon, about 18 inches total. I was fortunate that my surgeon was able to save enough healthy colon to connect to the rectum.
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  1. Giorgio says:

    Hi, came across this researching.

    Glad you feel better…you actually look good in your post operative picture.

    I have had my belly button cut through 4 times in the past 2 years…kind of wish I had documented it like you did.

    Stay strong…hopefully you dont have to go through what I have…actually my belly is starting to get use to the knife…its the surgery from the kidney stones forming because I have no terminal ileum that is worse…

    Take Care,


    • Lisa Burks says:

      Hi Giorgio!
      Thank you so much for both reading and leaving a comment on my column! (And the compliment) Gheesh 4 cuts at the belly button sounds pretty painful! I’ve encountered Kidney stones before (those are not to be underestimated!) I didn’t know that not having the terminal ilieum could make your body susceptible to developing kidney stones! I’m so sorry to hear you’ve had to deal with all of that. I do hope that you have had better days yourself! I’m doing a bit better from the last Crohn’s surgery, however we just found that the anastomosis site is pretty inflamed and the colon just before it seems to have stopped working. So another surgery has been presented to me but I haven’t agreed to it lol. I hope you can go a very long time without needing more surgery! Stay strong!
      From, Lisa

  2. Tamara says:

    I think colorectal cancers are a great issue being faced by many people around the globe.But most of the cases it can be cured easily once diagnosed early.My uncle had been suffering from colon cancer and the colorectal surgeons,Sydney has given treatment for her and he is completely perfect now.

    • Lisa Burks says:

      Thanks for taking the time to read my column! I agree 100% that colorectal cancer is definitely a big problem that awareness needs to be spread about. Im am certainly plan that the treatment has worked and he is completely in remission!!!

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