Just had a Fistulotomy - My Ongoing Experience

Fistula support sub forum. Are you having, or have you had surgery for a Fistula? Or are you just looking for information? We will help where we can and are here to offer support, member-to-member. Check out our Fistula Success Stories sub-forum too!!

Return to FISTULA - Are you having surgery for a Fistula or already had it?

Just had a Fistulotomy - My Ongoing Experience

Postby brent1981 » 03 Jul 2021, 19:13

Hello everyone. I just had surgery on June 29th at 2pm.

The Day of Surgery

I was very nervous to be 'put under' and had a high heartbeat. I remember as I was lying on the table that my anesthesiologist remarked my heart beat was rather high as I began to lose consciousness. I remember that the drugs they were injecting into me made the room sound a bit different. I started having difficultly understanding them, and decided to close my eyes. When I closed my eyes, I could almost feel myself 'flying' away from my consciousness if that makes sense. I woke up, and suddenly was in another room, feeling like I had been asleep for a short nap. I felt really happy because I knew the surgery was over. I had gotten a fistulotomy. The surgery itself took less than 45 minutes, according to the nurse.

I asked a nurse there if everything went well, and she said it all went well. I praised her and the doctors and she asked me if I was in any pain. I said my amount of pain would be a 1/10 or lower. But she gave me a couple of pills anyways, which she said were pain medication. I realized that the same music I had stuck in my head before surgery was still in my head. It took around 45 minutes to an hour or me to 'recover' and by 'recover' I meant that my oxygen levels kept hitting around 90 on the machine, making it beep... but slowly and surely it levelled out to 96. I asked her if that was normal, and she said yes. To each side of me, there were others who were recovering from surgery, and it sounded like they were in more pain than I was, considerable pain, and I know they did not get the same surgery as myself... I don't know what they got... but I felt sorry for the woman who said her pain was a 6 out of 10. But the time kind of flew by, maybe because my mental state was a bit strange due to the general anesthesia. I was mainly just feeling really happy and high. When chatting with the nurse, I felt a bit like a drunk person talking to sober people.

About an hour later I was wheelchaired out. I could walk, but indeed I did feel a little weak. My friend picked me up and it was actually a short walk to my place from the surgery center. That day I barely felt any pain, and decided not to take any pain medication.

That time after getting home I did feel quite tired, and napped for about 3 hours. Then got up, and ate, and watched TV, but went to bed a bit early-ish around 11:00pm. I definitely felt slight nausea but not bad enough for me to vomit. I did take some gravol ginger and that made me feel better. But the sleeping it off thing was really the best. I do remember having a shower, and cleaning the area. There was quite a bit of blood and puss on a pad that they had inserted between my hospital underwear. That was the only time where the pads I've been wearing had so much material on them.

June 30th:

The day after, I still didn't feel any major pain. I didn't have a bowel movement that entire day, not sure why, but apparently this can happen after surgery. I didn't feel constipated or bloated. When I say I didn't feel major pain, I'd still say it was equal or less to what the fistula was before the operation. Overall today was a good day. Not much pain, the nausea seemed to be going away, all was well. But then at night, I started feeling a bit of pain. So I took an ibuprofen (not my pain medication they gave me). There has been discharge from the wound. It looks pink, kind of like the material that comes out of a popped zit. This is probably good news... it means that the abscess is draining and my body healing.

July 1st to 3rd:

I make sure to take a sitz bath after every bowel movement because it is harder to clean down there without disturbing the wound/seton. I am very gentle with the area. But there's always a bit of puss and blood mixed if I try to wipe (actually, more like dab) the area with toilet paper.

My bowel movements have been extremely good actually. I've been taking restoralax to make them nice and soft, and soft they are. Yet though soft, there's been a bowel movement or two which seems to have irritated my fistula area. A sort of burning/itching/pain sensation that lasts for around 20 minutes.

The Pain and Irritation

Overall, I'd say I am in equal or less pain than simply having the fistula itself. This pain comes and goes, randomly and also related to how many drugs I take. I was given Trapadol, an opiod pain medication that is NIIIICE. When I am on this, the pain really doesn't bother me too much. But I'd say for almost 60% or 70% of the day, I feel this feeling like someone with long nails is pinching me in the anal canal. It is an uncomfortable feeling for sure... mixed with a stinging sensation. But mainly a pinching sensation. It's not the worst, but when it goes on for long periods of time, it is a little bit like low-level torture... I am thinking Chinese water torture. But there are other times that it just goes away completely and I don't notice it at all. And I feel great during those moments!

I find that I am able to sit, but sitting makes that pinchy feeling come back sometimes. Walking is absolutely no problem... just gotta go at a normal pace and it's fine. Lying down is the best! When I lie down, I often feel nothing.

So yeah, overall, pain isn't too much of an issue. And that's within 5 days of surgery.

Lifestyle Change

Well, I am glad it is "work from home" due to Covid or I might be in a worse spot. Being able to not sit all the time, being able to walk, lie down a bit, is very nice. I am eating very healthy too. Lots of veggies and fruit. Prunes, also that restoralax I mentioned earlier... all in an effort to keep the BM's nice and smooth and healthy.

Questions I have

- I don't know when I will be able to remove this latex seton string thingy. I guess we need to wait until my abscess drains. I have an appointment in three weeks to see the surgeon and he will assess the area.
- I don't know if fecal matter is coming out of the wound. So far, I think I just see blood and puss and a whitish material... overall it's mainly pink. But I am not super sure if fecal matter is coming out, since after a bowel movement, I am not sure the area I am cleaning the fecal matter came from the wound or the anus. I don't know the inner workings of the surgery... so I can't say. If there were fecal matter entering the wound, I would wonder how it couldn't get infected and make the situation worse... I really don't know!
- I am not on any antibiotics. Seems strange to me I wasn't put on any, but they seem to know what they're doing! I trust my doctor for sure. But I do wonder a bit why not... just in case.

Now I will monitor the area for infection. Fever. More pain. I am definitely worried about getting bacteria in my blood, I am worried about developing a fever. But alas, nothing like that has happened and it's been 5 days since surgery.

So far I think:
- I am in equal or less pain than when I had the fistula.
- I am mentally in good spirits because I see evidence of healing (ie. the drainage happening) any time I put a wipe down there
- The experience has been way less bad than I thought. I wish I had this surgery sooner now.
Fibre Addict
Posts: 20
Topics: 3
Joined: 20 Nov 2020, 01:20
Has thanked: 2 times
Been thanked: 2 times
Gender: None specified

  • Similar Topics
    Last post

Return to FISTULA - Are you having surgery for a Fistula or already had it?

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest