The Internal Pouch – it started with this historic paper in 1978

What were you doing in 1978? Here are some clues. John Travolta and Olivia Newton John were on our screens with the hit movie Grease.

Disco fever was still on the dance floors and the Bee Gees were still dominating the charts a year after the smash hit Saturday Night Fever movie.  Kate Bush was WOWing us with her UNBELIEVABLE Wuthering Heights!

James Callaghan was PM. Anna Ford became the first female news reader. Hitch-hikers Guide to the Galaxy was first broadcast on BBC Radio 4,  Nottingham Forest won the Football League First Division title (Managed by Brian Clough),  Liverpool retained the European Cup  with a 1-0 win over Club Brugge.  Freddie Laker was knighted for his services to the aviation industry!

Louise Brown became the world’s first test tube (IVF) baby.

The Government announced plans to replace O level and CSEs.

Viv Anderson the 22 year old Nottingham Forest defender became England’s first black international footballer.

The year ended with the infamous “Winter of Discontent”…..

….But the BIGGEST and MOST IMPORTANT event of the year was the publication in the British Medical Journal of an article by Sir Alan Parks and a young John Nicholls titled “Proctocolectomy without ileostomy for ulcerative colitis“.

The paper described a new procedure which they had pioneered and which we now refer to as an “internal pouch”, “J-Pouch“, “S-Pouch” or “ileal pouchanal anastomosis (IPAA)” and which has since changed many of our lives. At the time, only a handful of operations had been performed and the paper described the procedure and the outcomes. Now, over 40 years after that publication and many 1000’s of succesful operations later, you have the opportunity to read this historic document below.

Parks Nicholls Paper 1978
Parks Nicholls Paper 1978

At the Red Lion Group Information Day in 2018, Professor John Nicholls gave a talk  “Personal reflections on  40 years of the Pouch Operation“. You can view a video recording of the talk on the Resources section of this website. See Personal Reflections on 40 years of the Pouch Operation.

Ed Note: I was fortunate to have had my pouch created by John Nicholls in 1987 at the old St. Mark’s hospital in City Road, and 35+ years later it is still going strong! Thank you Professor Nicholls, from a lot us us!

Ed Note: Two Red Lion Group members, Jean Reed and Sylvia Panford were numbers 9 and 10 respectively of pouch recipients, having had their pouches created in 1978 by Sir Alan Parks. They met as patients and have remained friends ever since.  That is, 45 years and counting and their pouch’s still going strong!  They are both regular attendees on our monthly forum.

Gary Bronziet