(Sorry for the long post)
Looking for some input on dilation including self dilation. My J-Pouch procedure was in June 2020 after nearly 10 years with UC. Four months after the procedure I was dilated under sedation and also treated for pouchitis. Five months later I was treated for another bout of pouchitis and again dilated under sedation. I was not aware that this dilation was to occur...apparently the GI saw the need for dilation during the pouchoscopy that was performed?
About a month ago, about six months after the last dilation, I noticed it was taking longer in the bathroom. I actually had a day where I could tell I was backed up...some bloating etc. I cut back on the Loperamide, watched my diet, and made sure I was taking in enough liquids. I was able clear out over the next 24 hours. But it still required a lot of patience in the bathroom and changes to my normal routine...which had become my "new normal" and working well.
Contacting the surgeon's office I was told to start with my GI. The GI asked me to provide a stool sample which I did two weeks ago. Test results were posted daily for the next week and they were all negative...so no antibiotics!
The GI referred me back to the surgeon's office. The surgeons involved in my procedure and follow-up had moved to new locations (my procedure was at a university hospital) so the surgeon would be new to me.
This new surgeon performed a manual digital exam and then seemed to dismiss the need for dilation! I'm now scheduled for a scoping next week without anesthesia...no talk of dilation! Not sure what he is looking for or might expect to find? Yet, interestingly, after his "probing" that evening and the next day I could feel a slight improvement in the bathroom!!
So now I want to think long-term...I do not want to be dependent on a medical procedure a few times a year or having to convince a doctor I need to be dilated!
Is self-dilation safe and does it work? Are there J-Pouch doctors in the Southern California area who will provide instructions on self-dilation? I've read some older posts on self-dilation but want to know what the thinking is now. Any input is welcome.
Thanks for reading...DH