01-03-2013, 09:51 PM   #1
Zaf's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Syracuse, New York
Lift Procedure

After two drained abscesses in one month, and seeing two different colo-rectal surgeons, I will have the LIFT Procedure done in three days. They wanted to do the flap procedure but insurance does not cover any of it because of it's high failure rate. I wanted to document my experience to share with others. The procedure will be done at an outpatient center and is expected to take one hour.

I have had Crohn's for almost 27 years and have documented most of my experiences...most via my mother who was an RN. Since there are few shared experiences with the LIFT on these forums I figured I'd pass along mine.

I also think it is important to show how this procedure will effect my personal life so you could relate to them on a personal level. I have two adorable little girls, am a practicing martial artist for 20 plus years and a volunteer fire chief. I sit on my ass all day in front of my PC as an engineer. This will certainly help in describing recovery time, pain levels, and return to activities. Wish me luck and stay tuned for updates. As always...stay positive and keep moving forward.
Diagnosed 1986 age 12
225 mg Imuran
Vitamin C, D, Calcium Citrate
Resection 2009
Abcess 2012
Remicade: Serum Sickness
Humira: Serum Sickness
Prednisone: Allergy developed (blindness in left eye)
01-03-2013, 10:50 PM   #2
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AlliRuns's Avatar
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Ontario

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Good luck!
01-04-2013, 05:51 PM   #3
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Pennsylvania

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Good luck, Zaf! I'm looking forward to hearing about your progress.
01-05-2013, 02:20 PM   #4
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Grumbletum's Avatar
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Location: Western Isles, United Kingdom

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Yes, best of luck from me too. And thanks for offering to document your experience - that would be really useful.
Dx Crohn's terminal ileum April 2011
Ileocaecal resection & partial cystectomy Sept 2012
3.5 years happy remission, in mild flare since Feb 2016 with related Portal Vein Thrombosis

Previous: Prednisolone, Mesren, Omeprazole, Infliximab, Azathioprine
Current: Pentasa, Librax, Warfarin
Helen x
01-07-2013, 03:32 PM   #5
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Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Syracuse, New York
Progress update #1.
I am one hour post op and home resting. The outpatient LIFT procedure went better than previously thought. A great facility and a very friendly staff really helped. I was told the fistula was simple and should heal nicely. The cr surgeon was anticipating a complex fistula.
After waking up I was experiencing some pain, similar to being kicked in the tailbone, but nowhere as bad as I was expecting. I was given a single pain pill and am comfortably laying on my back in bed. The procedure took 35 minutes as opposed to the hour that was promised. No anti biotics were prescribed and I only plan on one more pain pill today.

The following are the post op instructions and what I will be doing:
1. Daily fiber supplements each day
Me: no, but will keep vitamins going
2. Stool softeners twice a day.
Me: No. I have had CD for 27 years, I am a living stool softener.
3. Sitz baths and warm soaks.
Me: yes, and I can't wait.
4. Avoid activity which causes discomfort, especially vigorous activity.
Me: I will returning to my corporate job in two or three days, and avoiding strenuous activity for the month

More to follow
01-07-2013, 04:08 PM   #6
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bigtruck's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: United Kingdom
Glad to hear it went well, keep us posted with your progress. Ryan.
01-08-2013, 04:47 PM   #7
Zaf's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Syracuse, New York
Day 2.
Experiencing a little bit more pain today and still draining (but amount is subsiding). I have been using a large underpad instead of small gauze for any leakage. it is more comfortable and easier to change. I recommend using a little bottle of water after a BM to alleviate the wiping pain.it is my very own, portable, poor man's bidet. I have been up and walking around a lot today and plan on returning to work (at least try) on day 4. Sitz baths are happening twice a day. I pan on starting a low residue diet this evening and continuing with my regular meds.

Ps: the outpatient clinic called today to see how my recovery is progressing and offered to discuss my experience with their facility. This does not happen much in the U.S. so I was pleasantly surprised. They actually seemed concerned with my well being and their service and care...maybe we aren't all doomed after all.
01-08-2013, 05:19 PM   #8
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afidz's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Mckinney, Texas

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Thanks for sharing your experience! your day one discharge instructions about the stool softener made me giggle a little bit. Hope you continue to heal well!!
Crohn's since 2007
15 Abdominal Surgeries since 2008
Severe Non-repairable abdominal hernia
Ankilosing Spondylitis
Inflammatory Arthritis

Failed meds:
Asacol HD
01-08-2013, 10:34 PM   #9
Join Date: Feb 2011

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Thanks for sharing! I hope this works for you and that your fistula heals up. Please let us know. I am hoping to have the LIFT procedure soon as well. I've had setons in for a few years and have a complex fistula with one opening but my CRS thinks I will be a good candidate for this. Sending good thoughts your way since I know what a pain in the butt fistulas can be!
01-22-2013, 09:38 AM   #10
Zaf's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Syracuse, New York
Sorry for the delay in updates.
Recovery has been good. My last update was day 2 post op. I took the entire week off of work to rest and heal, that was a wise choice. The pain was very manageable, except after a BM. Wow..that pain is intense. I ended up starting the shower before my BM, then just jumping in to the shower after to "hose off". This was much more tolerable. I'm not a big pain pill guy, but I certainly used them when needed during my week off.
Draining is a continual issue. I used the large underpad during my first week post op, then switched to a 4x4 gauze. As of right now (3 weeks post op) I still have a little drainage and change it 3 times a day. My visit to the CR surgeon was very positive, he indicated that I am healing nicely and to start physical activity when "I am ready". I plan on returning to full physical activity (firefighting and karate especially) at the 1 month mark. I have a tendency to overdue things so I am being relatively patient this time. I continue sitz baths once a day and have had a big fluffy pillow on my computer chair at work since returning. My final recommendations are:
1. Take the time you need but try to get up and moving around as much as possible.
2. Avoid wiping for at least a few days post op..go with the shower or water bottle and/or baby wipes.
3. Sitz baths as much as possible, as hot as possible.
4. Drainage is happening 3 weeks post op, so have a plan in place. I used a full large underpad the first week, then cut them in strips the second week, then moved to 4x4" gauze. Change frequently!
5. The low residue diet helped me control my bowel movements better, keeping them minimal and "less explosive". BM's are your enemy during your recovery, but you need to keep your nutrition up.
6. As always, stay positive. Keep moving forward and try to focus on what makes you feel good. I have since changed my diet (again) and am slowly adjusting to vegetarian. I have always been a big meat eater. My main goal is to completely eliminate additives/preservatives/antibiotics/etc. This will be tough, but I am giving it a valiant effort.
7. Don't lay around too much during your recovery. The first few days for sure, but get up and get moving around (as with any surgery).
8. When you feel around down there is will definitely raise an eyebrow or two. That smoothness that once existing is gone and will hopefully somewhat return. More to follow on that!

Hit me up with any questions. I am always an open book when it comes to my experiences with CD. We are all different and our experiences will certainly vary. However, it is good to hear directly from the patient. Our recommendations as CD patients WILL help others.
01-22-2013, 05:31 PM   #11
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Ohio

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Hey Zaf, thanks so much for keeping us posted on your LIFT experience. Best of luck to you!
06-23-2015, 12:04 PM   #12
Senior Member
Join Date: Jun 2015
Sorry for the delay in updates.
Recovery has been good.
How are you now?
06-23-2015, 12:07 PM   #13
Zaf's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Syracuse, New York
No problems or complications.

Side note: I have eliminated almost all crap sugar intake from my diet. Never felt better in 30 years with Crohn's......
06-23-2015, 04:16 PM   #14
Senior Member
Join Date: Jun 2015
Thank you for sharing your experience. I am going for a surgeon visit tomorrow.

The earlier surgeon recommended LIFT, however I wanted a second opinion.

May I ask, did you need to be on any medicines for the procedure (or otherwise)?

I do not have a diagnosis yet but have had diarrhea on and off since going to India two years ago. I know that I have a yeast overgrowth.

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