LIS Success

LIS

Are you having, or have you had a Lateral Internal Sphincterotomy (LIS)? Please share your experiences here, or ask any questions.

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Re: LIS Success

Postby ksaco18 » 11 Jun 2020, 09:31

Hi there!

You made it through! I can't believe you had 2 fissures, but I'm glad the doctor caught that and took care of them. My doctors didn't let my mom or fiance come in either, but they were all nice about it. I'm sorry your nurses weren't very understanding :/

I took my dressing off by myself at the hospital right before I was discharged. I'd read about dressings and didn't want to deal with it later on, so I decided to remove it then when was still pretty numb from the surgery. Mine was external too but stuck a little bit because the blood started to dry. I probably shouldn't have done that, but it didn't do any long-term damage. I imagine yours will come off during your first BM or sitz bath.

I started sitz bathing the day after surgery. Right after my LIS, I just iced the area and napped/rested most of the day (my surgery was in the morning). I never took the Vicodin that was prescribed to me, and instead I took 2 extra-strength Tylenol every 4 hours like clockwork. Vicodin can be binding and I definitely didn't want to risk that. I would say avoid the narcotics if you can and just go for Tylenol. Why risk constipation when you can manage the pain with something a bit more mild? I guess it just depends on how much pain you're in, but I'd really try to avoid taking them. Definitely continue with the Colace. I'd even suggest 1/2 a cap of Miralax if you're going to take the narcotics. Avoid the Magnesium Citrate since you don't want explosive diarrhea.

I had my first BM the day after my surgery. I was DREADING it, but I swear it barely even hurt (or didn't hurt nearly as much than a fissure BM). There was some discomfort from the incision but that was it. No lingering fissure pain or muscle spasms/throbbing afterward! Just have your sitz bath ready right after. I was told not to use toilet paper down there, so I used baby wipes and also bought Tuck's Wipes which have witch hazel and can be soothing. It's really important to keep the area clean so you don't risk getting infected. So I say trying doing a sitz bath at least 3x a day to help with that.

Other than that, just eat plenty of fiber and rest. I was starving from fasting, so I ate pretty normally after surgery. Again, I'm plant-based, so I eat a lot of veggies and beans. I would avoid anything that can constipate you. Also, I learned that walking helps keep your stool softer, so once you're up for it, I'd try to move around a bit.

How are you feeling today?
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Re: LIS Success

Postby StarrySky » 11 Jun 2020, 11:07

Thanks for answering all my questions. : ) I actually just took the dressing off this morning. I called my surgeon's office and they answered a few questions, as well.

I'm not feeling too bad at the moment. I didn't take any Norco since I'm too afraid of constipation. I've been taking Tylenol Extra Strength 2 tablets like you have. I would take Motrin, but I have acid reflux and it really upsets my stomach. I will only take that if I absolutely have to. Same with the Norco.

I'll start taking sitz baths today. I haven't had my first BM yet (I am really scared!), but I feel my stomach rumbling and know it's coming. : (

Thanks again for all the advice. It's been super helpful to me. : ) I'll update again when I get a chance.
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Re: LIS Success

Postby ksaco18 » 11 Jun 2020, 11:19

I'm so glad to hear that you're doing okay right now! In terms of your BM, you'll be fine! Like I said, just have the warm sitz bath ready and use wipes instead of toilet paper. Also, side note: I've heard Motrin can cause constipation too, so maybe just stick to the Tylenol unless the pain gets unbearable.

I'm glad you were able to get the dressing off without any problems. In other posts I've read on on this website, I've heard about people saying how horrible of an experience THAT was (I think their dressings were more internal).

Oh, do you have a squatty potty? That definitely helps with BMs, as it puts you in the optimal position to pass your stool. I never really have problems using the bathroom and I know you said you didn't either, but I definitely feel like it helps the stool come out with even more ease, especially after the procedure. Just something to consider!
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Re: LIS Success

Postby StarrySky » 11 Jun 2020, 13:14

Well, I just had my first BM. Thankfully, it was not as bad as I anticipated. It was NOTHING compared to my worst days of the fissures. It was a bit leaning toward the diarrhea side, though (I tend to be that way since my diet is mostly fruits and veggies like you). I'm not sure if I should continue with the Colace or not since that's the case. I don't want to make it worse.

I am very sore from the incision site and the fissure sites (since he cauterized them), but that's to be expected. I'll just keep up with the Tylenol for now. I haven't noticed any spasms; mainly just soreness and burning pain from the incision and fissure sites.

I took a shower right afterward to clean and I'll take a sitz bath after that a bit latger. How did you keep the area dry after a sitz bath? Did you just use a towel or TP? I know someone on here suggested a hair dryer.

I am kind of freaking out since my surgeon said after the procedure that the skin was very thin down there (most likely due to the chemo I had for breast cancer last year... I had fissures ALL through chemo... it was HORRIBLE!). I really don't want to get this problem ever again. : ( I was out of it when he told me that, so I'll probably give his office a call later and ask him to explain better. I'm just really worried about this not working. I will try to stay hopeful!
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Re: LIS Success

Postby ksaco18 » 11 Jun 2020, 14:28

Wooo, see?! All that worrying about your first BM for nothing! They will get easier every day. Just stay positive! So far, your pain hasn't been as bad as your worst AF flareup which is a good thing! Soreness is to be expected since they just cut your muscle and cauterized open wounds! Just stay the course with the Tylenol, sitz baths and high fiber, and you will heal beautifully in no time!

I always pat myself dry with a towel after my sitz baths and have not had any issues. Of course, be gentle with it since you're fresh out of surgery, but the towel seems to do the trick. I feel like a blow dryer might be too extreme down there, but who knows.

Maybe try taking 1 colace instead of 2 since your diet is already high in fiber. I'm still taking 2 colace a day even though I highly doubt I need it, but I'd rather be safe than sorry. The thought of having a hard stool still terrifies me! That being said, I'm going to try and ween myself off the Colace starting next week. If you do decide to stop taking it, just be sure to drink a ton of water for the next few weeks. Again, light walking will help keep any stool in your system soft, so whenever you're feeling up to it, try to go for a walk!

Wow, you had your fissures while you went through chemo? You are Wonder Woman! I really don't know how you did it, but it seems like you're way stronger than you give yourself credit for! When do you have your follow-up appointment with your CRS? I waited 3 weeks to make sure it was completely healed before my CRS went poking and prodding up there.
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Re: LIS Success

Postby StarrySky » 11 Jun 2020, 20:21

Thanks for the info about drying yourself. I will probably just use a towel. I'm also going to cut back on the Colace to 1. Still taking just the Tylenol.

I admit that I am still very nervous about all this, but I will try to stay positive. I called my CRS about what he told me after surgery, but haven't heard back from him yet. Hopefully soon.

Yes, I had several fissures during chemo that bled constantly. It was AWFUL. I couldn't do anything about them either since you obviously can't have surgery during chemo. I tried the ointments, but they barely helped. Thankfully, they healed after chemo, but then the problem returned a few months later. : ( Chemo saved my life, but really caused a lot of problems for me. I had horrible diarrhea almost constantly, so I'm sure that's what caused the issues.

Thanks so much for the compliments. I have been through a lot. I don't feel very strong sometimes, though. These fissures have just taken so much of my life away from me. I really look forward to better days.

How are you feeling at the 3-week mark? Are you completely healed?
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Re: LIS Success

Postby ksaco18 » 11 Jun 2020, 21:01

Well, people always say that the mind/body connection is extremely strong, so definitely something to consider while you're recovering. The more stressed and anxious you are, the longer it will take your body to heal. I'm not a doctor, but I strongly believe in that mind/body connection. Sometimes my nerves about going to the bathroom would make me physically ill. There's a great app by Sam Harris called the "Waking Up" app. It's free and focuses on mindfulness meditation and really helped me when I was facing depression and anxiety from my fissure. Maybe something to consider moving forward.

I really don't think your fissure can get worse now than it was before. I know there have been a bunch of horror stories on here about post-LIS, but I doubt that once people heal and have success with the surgery, they feel inclined to post on here. Just keep your head up and keep the thoughts positive. You're on the path to recovery, so be patient!

I feel like a new person since my procedure. My fissure, skin tag site and incision have completed healed, and I've been able to exercise 4-5 days a week for the past 3 weeks, lifting weights and going for runs. I've had no pain, bleeding or muscle soreness since the first week of the surgery which has been a huge relief. I stopped taking sitz baths this week but plan to do them every so often to keep the area relaxed.

Mentally speaking, I also feel brand new. I was so depressed and constantly anxious about how much pain I'd be in each day. There were days I couldn't get out of bed because I felt like I'd never feel "normal" again. I felt like I was bringing down my fiance and family. I had chronic pain, so any time I went to the bathroom, I was throbbing for 5-6 hours after. Obviously, I'd use the bathroom every day, so it was 4 months of nonstop discomfort and agony.

As nervous as I was before, during and even after LIS, it was the best decision I could've made for myself. That's why I keep saying I think you'll be so happy you decided to go forward with it. Keep a positive mind, and remember that the pain is temporary and will dissipate in the next few days as long as you're doing all that your doctor told you. Focus on the positive like the fact that there's even a procedure out there that gives you a chance at alleviating this pain!
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Re: LIS Success

Postby StarrySky » 12 Jun 2020, 14:49

Thanks for the tip about the app! I will definitely check it out. My oncologist is also a huge believer in the mind/body connection. She always emphasized that when I went through chemo and was having a tough time. She always told me to get a therapist, but I never did and probably should. : ( I'm definitely struggling with anxiety/depression and it's gotten worse due to this whole fissure situation and the entire Covid-19 pandemic. I think while I focus on recovery that I will try to find a therapist. It's just so difficult finding someone (especially someone my insurance will pay for). I've been there before and you really have to click with someone. It takes time, but I guess since I have time while recovering, I can try to find someone.

My BM this morning was fine, thank goodness. Very little pain, if any! Everything seems looser, too (but not so loose that I can't control gas or stool). It just feels easier to go, if that makes sense. Did you experience the same? I ate more yesterday, so I was concerned. It is still on the watery side, though, so I should probably stop the Colace. I've had softer/watery stools since chemo, so I don't think I really need any stool softeners. I'm wondering if I should take Metamucil or Benefiber to bulk up my stools. I just don't want to get them too bulky. Honestly, I would rather just stick with a plant-based diet. I've tried Metamucil before and it tended to create stools that were too big. Do you take fiber supplements or just stick to a healthy diet for fiber? I'd rather go the natural route.

I am trying to be patient and strong through all this. I'm happy that I'm not having as much pain as I thought I would. I just don't want to jinx myself.

I'm so happy you have your life back and have no pain! I really hope to be where you are in the coming weeks. I'm just so glad you are free from pain. I can totally relate to the mental anguish that comes from having fissures. I would just go to bed and not want to wake up. I can totally understand all that. The throbbing for hours after was awful and I hope neither of us ever go through that again.

I'm so sorry you suffered for so long. Mine was not as constant; I would go through cycles of healing and then re-tearing no matter what I did since November. I feared waking up each morning and not knowing if my next BM would rip me open, no matter how soft it was. It was so frustrating and I almost lost all hope. Thank God for LIS. You're right, we should be thankful there is such a procedure available. I truly am very thankful for it.

Thank you again for all your help. : ) You have been such a huge support through all of this. Nobody in my life understands what having a fissure is like. This site has been so helpful and I'm very grateful for it and all your help.
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Re: LIS Success

Postby ksaco18 » 12 Jun 2020, 17:38

I think a therapist is a great idea. I understand wanting to find a therapist you can click with, but now might be the time to look into it. I know going through insurance can limit who you go to, but I'm confident you'll be able to find someone who will help you work through your depression and anxiety. Once you get a list of in-network psychologists in your area, you can look up their reviews and specialty areas online (depression, anxiety, etc.) and choose from there. I really think a lot of your depression and anxiety will dissipate as you start to heal as well. I'm sure within the next week, you'll start to see/feel the improvement I'm talking about.

I can totally relate to the area feeling looser since LIS. It's not so loose that I feel like I could lose my bowels at any given moment, but I feel like I don't have to push as hard at all to pass a stool. It's honestly such a relief. In terms of the consistency of your stool, I'd just stick with a plant-based diet and lay off the Colace. I've heard that Metamucil and Benefiber can make your stool dense, and you don't want either (that's why I've never taken either). I feel like as long as you eat a well-balance, high-fiber diet, your stool will be the perfect consistency.

I'm glad that I can help you through this! Again, I'm no doctor, so take everything I say with a grain of salt, but I wish I had someone to talk to about this when I was going through my worst mental/physical pain leading up to the procedure. So if I can be that support to you and others that might stumble across this blog, I'm happy! Keep up the positivity, and I promise you each day, you will start to feel more and more like yourself, and you'll forget that you ever went through this :)
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Re: LIS Success

Postby StarrySky » 13 Jun 2020, 15:24

Yes, I will probably look into a therapist. I desperately need someone to talk to and sort my problems out. Hopefully I can find the right person for me.

Feeling a bit more sore today and a bit itchy. I may have overdone it yesterday. I'm assuming that's normal to be sore for a while and a bit itchy? It hasn't been that long since I had the surgery. I'm probably getting ahead of myself. I'm a very impatient person and just want to feel 100% soon, but I know it will take time. How long did it take you to stop feeling soreness from the incision area?

My surgeon actually called me yesterday and said that the skin is still very thin from chemo, so it will probably take me longer to fully heal. : ( He said he found two main fissures and some smaller tears. He said they would definitely heal, though; but it will take time. I don't see him for 4-6 weeks. Like I said, I'm just very impatient with all this. I asked him if he ever had LIS fail for anyone and he said he hasn't seen that happen in over ten years. So, I hope this will succeed for me. : )
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