Ileostomy Surgery Update: Surgeon Reveals Good News Most ‘J-Pouchers’ Have Never Heard

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Ileostomy Surgery Update – “J-Pouch surgery for colitis or polyposis is devastating when the result is eating just one meal a day and making countless trips to the bathroom,” says the physician who heads the Ileostomy Surgery Information Center in Los Angeles. “Unfortunately, most ‘J-Pouchers’ don’t know they can escape this misery,” he says.

Most ‘J-Pouchers’ with failed pouches believe they are sentenced to a life of incontinence, eating only one meal a day or making countless trips to the bathroom, says the Los Angeles physician who heads the Ileostomy Surgery Information Center.

“They don’t know about the BCIR,” says Dr. Don J. Schiller. “They think their only option is the bag with a conventional ileostomy.”

The BCIR, says Schiller, is an abbreviation for the Barnett continent intestinal reservoir, named for the American doctor who developed the procedure in the 1980s. The BCIR creates a self-sealing internal pouch that temporarily stores waste – without the use of "a bag" or other external appliance. Schiller says the operation evolved from the Koch pouch procedure developed more than 35 years ago.

“With the BCIR,” says Schiller, “the J-Pouch (also known as the pull-through or ileoanal IPAA pouch) is transformed into an internal pouch that provides control over discharge of waste without wearing a bag.”

Schiller says from 5-15% of J-Pouch procedures fail. “For most people the emotional implications are as serious as the physical impact,” he says.

“Some J-Pouchers have no social life,” says Schiller. “They’re embarrassed about all the trips to the bathroom. They’re afraid about the possibility of leakage. Many avoid parties and restaurants altogether. It isn’t unusual for someone whose J-Pouch surgery has turned out poorly to bypass promising career opportunities, or even avoid going to college. They won’t take the chance of being humiliated by an accident. This is the secret many J-Pouchers live with and agonize over every day. It is a lonely, frustrating life.”

The most satisfied BCIR patients, Schiller says, receive long-term personalized care from their surgeons.

“I develop a relationship with my patients,” he says. “I want them to feel comfortable asking questions before and after surgery, and for years afterward. We stay in touch and I communicate regularly with their family doctors.”

Schiller says he talks personally by telephone with patients and family members who want to know more about the BCIR.

“These are no-cost consultations. I don’t assign these calls to my staff. All a person has to do is call my office. My assistant will set up a telephone appointment at the caller’s convenience.”

For more information on BCIR ileostomy surgery, visit, or call Schiller’s office at (310) 284-8332.

About Dr. Schiller –

Don J. Schiller, M.D., FACS, is an authority on the BCIR – Barnett continent ileostomy surgery. He has operated on hundreds of ileostomy patients from all over the world during his 30-year medical career. Schiller is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and was certified by the American Board of Surgery in 1977. He received his M.D. degree from Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City and did surgical training at UCLA in Los Angeles.


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