I also had a 3 step procedure, though mine was a little more protracted than most. Generally it's at least 6 months between steps 1 and 2. My step 1 was done as an emergency, in July 2005 due to what was described to me as "air bubbles" in the colon wall which suggested I was at high risk for perforation. At the time I was seriously ill and very underweight, and my recovery was also complicated by ileus. Given that my health was so poor at the time, it was recommended that I wait until I gained some weight back and was stronger until I considered further options, and then I also had to wait for referral to another surgeon who performed j-pouches. Unfortunately the UC in my retained rectal stump never went into remission so I was still dealing with other manifestations of UC the whole time. I was finally able to go ahead with the j-pouch creation and step 2 was done in September 2007, over 2 years later. That surgery was complicated by a post opt obstruction. I finally had my step 3 done in March 2008, and that step was all smooth sailing.