When I was originally given the benefits of  having surgery one of them was to no longer take medication or at least take a lot less. In the lead up to the surgery nothing more was discussed about medication so it was on my list of questions to ask. The surgeon couldn’t make a decision about treatment so that fell to my gastroenterologist specialist and I received a surprise visit from him today to discuss medication options going forward.

Not a Simple Answer to a Complex Problem

He was rather open about not knowing the correct answer and I was told that there aren’t many people like me out there who have severe Crohn’s in the last section of the bowel and then healthy bowel above. There are people in the same position as me but they tend to put up with the problem rather than having the surgery but knowing my history he acknowledged that I had put up with it for long enough. 

There’s little evidence of the effectiveness of continuing with medication after surgery and he said wouldn’t object to me not wanting to take any more medication. Knowing that the surgery doesn’t cure the Crohn’s disease and there’s a chance that it could come back at any point in the future I wouldn’t want to risk completely stopping medication.

The balsalazide medication I’m taking is quite mild so there would be little point taking that any longer but the azathioprine is stronger so there’s a chance it may offer some future protection, particularly in the area behind the stoma. Continuing with the azathioprine once things have had a chance to heal would be his recommendation.

I’ve taken medication for long enough and if it helps to prevent future issues then I’d be happy to continue with it. 

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Diagnosed with IBD in 2002, I have experienced the usual ups and downs of having a chronic disease and tried numerous medications but the time finally came in 2018 to elect to have surgery to improve my life. I had the surgery in 2019 and this is my journey having a 'New Bum'.

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