abscess & fistula post-op

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abscess & fistula post-op

Postby heartofitall » 06 Apr 2014, 09:58

Hello all,

I had emergency surgery for an abscess and fistula five weeks ago. I only know one other person who has gone through this (my dad, but it was around 15 years ago and he doesn't remember much of the healing process) and so I wanted to get some opinions from other people.

Long story short, I had emergency surgery after increasing pain for around two weeks. A general surgeon who specializes in the digestive system laid open my abscess, found my fistula tract which was very simple, and put in a draining seton. I had a nurse come to my house every day for two weeks to clean the wound, and change the packing and bandage. Two weeks post-op, I went for my consultation with a surgeon (different one in the same specialty because I wasn't in my city when I had to have surgery, so my case was transferred to a surgeon back home). He said I was healing well, that didn't need to have my wound packed and covered any longer, and he removed the seton, which he said was about to fall out anyway. I was prescribed Flagyl for 10 days and also had to wash with Betadine for 10 days as well.

I am now five weeks post-op and feel much better, but not 100%. I can now sit down, walk, etc. without pain, but still feel kind of sore sometimes. I still get a bit of drainage - not every day and not like before - and it worries me a little. I was wondering if others had drainage 5+ weeks post-op and if so, when it stopped. Does my experience seem normal? I am paranoid about the fistula coming back...
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Re: abscess & fistula post-op

Postby Savaici » 06 Apr 2014, 11:24

:wel: to the forum, snd glad that your surgery is over.

I haven't had this surgery, and hopefully someone will come along who has, but from what I have read on here of others who have had this surgery, it is not uncommon to have a discharge for some time after. However, if you are worrying about infection, I would absolutely speak/visit your doctor to check that all is alright.

A few links, that might be of help too:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0002487/
http://www.fascrs.org/patients/conditio ... s_fistula/
http://www.emedicinehealth.com/anal_abs ... cle_em.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anorectal_abscess
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Re: abscess & fistula post-op

Postby Dewlilly » 06 Apr 2014, 16:34

Hi HeartofitAll .... I had a fistulotomy and a seton in for my fistula but my seton was in for 6 wks and yes i had drainage for about another week after it was removed so i would think your drainage is normal ... I had my surgery on Dec 10th and i too still get the odd pain now and then and i freak out thinking the fistula is back or another abscess is coming .. i think my mind likes to test me lol .... this site has a lot of great info about this stuff and i understand what you mean when you say you havent found anyone who has been in your shoes ... I wasnt able to either until i joined here and a group on facebook for people who are very familar to fistula's. Most in that group have crohns or colitis ... I dont which was a major releif .... My drainage slowly stopped but within 2 wks of having my seton removed it was all stopped ... Savaici is right though if you think something could be wrong or just want to be sure get it checked ... where these things are really known best to be safe .... Hope things continue to improve for you .. anything i can help with just let me know :)
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Re: abscess & fistula post-op

Postby heartofitall » 24 Apr 2014, 16:02

Thank you both for your responses!

Dewlilly, was the seton put it after your fistulotomy or before? From other forums I've read, it seems a lot of people get them before, but mine was put in after and I'm afraid it didn't let the fistula heal or something. I hope I am just psyching myself out, but I am afraid that it didn't heal properly! I don't have any pain, but for the past couple of days I've been seeing some blood. So annoying because after posting my first message, I felt really good for a couple of weeks.

I am going to see a doctor soon, but it's difficult because I have to find a new one. I was out of town when I had my emergency operation, then had my post-op where I go to university, and now I've moved again for an internship and this will be the third one I've seen for the same problem... I also live in France and though I'm fluent, it's not fun having to go through this in a foreign language. I just want it to be over. I'm glad you are doing well - it gives me hope!
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Re: abscess & fistula post-op

Postby Dewlilly » 24 Apr 2014, 17:30

Hi Heart ... my seton was put in at the same time as they did the fistulotomy .. im very grateful it was all done in the same operation .. I thought it sounded a lil odd that your seton was removed so quickly after being placed in .. mine was in for 6 wks and after that doc said give it another 2 wks to have the drainage slow down and then hopefully completely stop which it did .... not to scare you but i have a friend who has had 3 surgeries and still has more to go as hers is extermly complex and involves alot of the muscle but she too has had setons at the same time as they did fistulotmy ... her docs are now thinking about trying a fisutla plug but the succes rate for that is barely 50% ...

these healt issues seem to be rollercoaster but i truly think you should trust your gut .. you know your body better then any doctor and if you are concerned about the blood(which i think i would be for sure) get it checked out .. I totally understand the troubles of having to explain it over and over to each different doc but the foreign lanuage must had a bit more of a fusrtation to it all .. Keep us updated on your progress but if I was you i would get the bleeding checked out .. i have also read on here that it can depend on when you are bleeding like after a bowel movement or just for no reason .. best to be safe and get peace of mind ... there is hope that life can return to normal .. Im proof :)
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Re: abscess & fistula post-op

Postby heartofitall » 17 May 2014, 15:41

Update:

I went to see a GP to get a referral to see a specialist, but the GP told me my wound was still healing (and my bleeding TWO MONTHS after surgery was normal?!) and prescribed some antibiotic and scar cream and that I didn't need to see a surgeon. Ha! I knew I needed to see one anyway, but I needed to go about it the "right" way to get reimbursed, so needless to say, I didn't listen to the GP.

I saw the specialist last week and got the news I was expecting, but didn't want to hear. I still have a fistula. During the first surgery only the abscess was taken care of and they put the seton in. The surgeon I went to for my post-op must have misread the papers or something, because he took out my seton and told me I was fine! The specialist said he didn't understand why the post-op surgeon did that but didn't operate on me a second time.

Anyway, I am having surgery again on Monday to finally take care of the fistula problem before it has time to turn into an abscess. It was written on my first surgery papers that the fistula tract was simple, so hopefully it didn't get worse in the meantime and recovery won't be so bad. The specialist and anesthesiologist told me fistula surgery recovery can be less painful than abscess recovery, so I'm hoping that's the case with me!
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Re: abscess & fistula post-op

Postby Dewlilly » 17 May 2014, 19:55

Hey heartofitall glad to hear you some answers even though it's not ehat u really want to hear but in the end it's a good thing to get it corrected now... I would totally agree with the docs that the pain of living with a fistula is worse then the healing from the surgery to get it fixed... I was terrified of The possible pain of recovery but I only took one ibuprofen after the first bowel movement and that was it for pain meds I know everyone is different when it comes to pain but I found it more painful living with the fistula then after the surgery ..... Good luck on Monday and keep us updated :)
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Re: abscess & fistula post-op

Postby heartofitall » 05 Jun 2014, 14:13

I had m surgery May 19 and according to my surgeon the fistula was pretty superficial, but starting to get reinfected. My surgeon said I would need a nurse to come for around two weeks to pack the wound, but it only ended up being 10 days because I saw him before the two weeks was up and he said everything was healing nicely.

Pain was much easier to handle this time around! I even managed to take the subway and commuter train back home that night after surgery haha. I was off work for two weeks and felt pretty good before going back (with minor soreness here and there) but now that I've started back, I feel much more sore. I think sitting for 8 hours a day is irritating my wound, even though I try to get up every couple of hours when I can. I also noticed that I'm getting more discharge than I had been having in the few days leading up to going back to work. I guess it's because of sitting down. I know that I am not supposed to be magically healed three weeks post-op, but I've got to admit that the drainage and soreness is starting to worry me a bit!
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