LIS surgery worked for me

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LIS surgery worked for me

Postby alex.h » 21 Oct 2015, 16:46

I developed an anal fissure back in 2004 and suffered for 5 years before finally opting for the LIS surgery. I remember being very scared and skeptical about the procedure, mostly because I couldn't find many success stories online. But I remember being told that often the success stories never get posted because, well, the patients are back to their normal lives and aren't having to constantly think about their fissures. And now I realize that's true! So in order to help anyone out there who is in the position I was in ten years ago, I'm posting my success story.

After being diagnosed in 2005 I tried all sorts of different treatments: dietary changes, nitro ointment, and nifedipine ointment were the primary treatments attempted. Nothing worked. The fissure didn't get worse, but it didn't get better either. The pain and discomfort is indescribable. I've never been so miserable in my life. And it was incredibly awkward having to sit on one side or the other in social situations. Eventually, I found a surgeon I trusted to perform the procedure: Dr. Christopher Mantyh at Duke in Durham, NC. He had done hundreds of these surgeries and did a great job answering my questions and explaining the risks involved. I had the procedure performed in 2009.

The pain during recovery was actually a bit worse than I expected. I pretty much stayed in bed for a couple of days. I initially thought I could bypass the pain pills and avoid the inevitable constipation, but the pain was severe enough that I felt I had to take them. By the second or third day, things had calmed down enough where I felt like I could stop. The worst part of recovery was anticipating the first BM after the procedure. I figured it would be a bloody mess and would feel like I was passing shards of glass. It actually wasn't nearly as bad as I was expecting. I didn't get any blood, and the pain wasn't any worse than what I had already experienced on a regular basis over the past 5 years.

Another big concern I had post-op is the potential for incontinence. Well, it hasn't been an issue. I've never been walking around in public and spontaneously pooped my pants. What I have noticed is that I get more "skidmarks" than before, and I also tend to itch badly after a BM if I don't clean myself thoroughly. But I've actually come up with a foolproof technique that leaves me comfortable all day after my morning BM. First, I wipe only with Tux pads, never toilet tissue. And second, I shower immediately afterwards. I bought one of those shower hoses so I can aim the water directly at my bottom and make sure it's 100% squeaky clean down there. After the shower, I pat the area dry with a paper towel, smear some diaper rash ointment or zinc cream on the area, and tuck a 4x4" gauze pad in there. This catches any leakage that occurs and ensures I remain itch-free. I can usually remove the gauze by the early afternoon and remain itch-free the remainder of the day and night. Maybe this trick will work for someone else too.

One month after the surgery I felt like I was back to where I was before the surgery (in terms of pain). That was disappointing, but I continued improving slowly. If you've had the surgery, give it time. It takes a long time for that part of the body to heal and recover. One year after the surgery I was feeling great. I was having pain-free BMs w/no blood. It was such a relief. I wasn't constantly thinking about the pain in my bottom, and dreading the next BM. I had my life back. As I said, I still experience some itching in the area if I don't clean properly. Very occasionally I'll have an episode of constipation and it almost feels like I'm re-tearing the area, but I rinse with warm water and treat it as I explained above and the pain goes away within an hour. I'm convinced the LIS has fixed me for good.

If you've been putting up with a fissure for several years, I urge you to consider the surgery. It's scary, yes, and the post-op pain is no joke, but if you've been tough enough to put up with fissure pain for several years then you're undoubtedly tough enough to put up with some post-op pain. And you'll get your life back.

If anyone has questions for me I'd be glad to answer them. I hope this post helps someone.
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Re: LIS surgery worked for me

Postby Savaici » 21 Oct 2015, 20:26

Great post! Thanks, and :wel: to the forum!!
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