9 days post LIS, skin tag removal, and fissure repair

9 days post LIS, skin tag removal, and fissure repair

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9 days post LIS, skin tag removal, and fissure repair

Postby amy18322 » 05 Mar 2016, 21:12

Hi, I'm new to this site and wanted to share my story. It's rather long but I wanted to share my experience. My story will include dealing with a fissure for 4 months, LIS (sphincterotomy, 2 fissures sutured, and 2 skin tags removed) and where I am at 9 days post-op.

I started suffering in October 2015 with painful bowel movements. I assumed they were hemorrhoids because they would come and go with my menstrual cycle. I would be able to treat them with over the counter products and diet. Eventually they would go away, however, this past October they didn’t go away and gradually got worse. I suffered through the holidays and finally called the doctor in January. They couldn’t get me in until Jan. 19. I was in dire pain….I was missing work, leaving work early, crying, screaming in pain, dreading bowel movements. My spasms were so bad that they would last 10-12 hours. It consumed my life and I was absolutely miserable EVERY day!! I dreaded getting out of bed in the morning because I didn’t know what kind of day I would have. If I went to the bathroom in the a.m. my day was over. However, if I didn’t go to the bathroom until the afternoon then I could at least have a decent day at work. Trust me, I wasn’t pain free but I wasn’t dying from excruciating pain. Some of my colleagues could tell from my face and my pale complexion that something was wrong. Obviously, I confided in some of them and shared my issues. They were very understanding and helpful as they could tell I was struggling to get through the day. It literally took me every ounce of strength to get through a day at work.

So I finally saw the doctor on Jan. 20. I was looking forward to this appointment and was hoping I would leave with some relief and answers. The prep (2 enemas) destroyed me that morning and the dr could barely do a “digital exam” because I was in so much pain and had inflammation. He immediately knew it was fissures….no hemorrhoids…just a very bad fissure. So he gave me a prescription for the nifidepine gel and told me to apply it with a Qtip because at this point there was no way I would be able to use my finger with the amount of discomfort and swelling I was having. Some days I think the nifidepeine helped…..others days it didn’t make a difference. I continued to watch my diet, drink over 120 ounces of water a day, and take warm baths frequently. About 2 weeks after I saw the doctor I started having a “weird feeling” down there so when I got home from work I looked in a mirror and now I had these 2 things protruding from my anus. I couldn’t believe it!!!! What now??? So I called the office and a nurse told me they may be hemorrhoids and recommended using Calmoseptine. She left me some free samples I could pick up. Needless to say the cream didn’t seem to make a difference but I kept using it. At this point I was still suffering. I was barely making it through the day at work, the 45 min drive was torture despite my heated seats and extra cushions. I wasn’t eating….at this point I had lost 22 pounds since January (over a 6 week time period). Yes, I had some weight to lose but this wasn’t the way I wanted to do it. I was barely eating anything. I had no appetite and my portion sizes were minuscule. I was living on soup, salad, baby food (fruits), applesauce, jello, and small pieces of chicken. No starches, meats, processed foods.

So I went back to the doctor on Feb. 19 for a followup. Again, the prep (2 more enemas) had me in tears. At this point I could only do half of 1 enema because the pressure, spasm, swelling just wouldn’t allow it to work. I told the nurse when I arrived and they didn’t seem concerned. Once again, the dr could barely do an exam because I was in such pain. However, he could tell that my sphincter was tighter than it was 4 weeks earlier and that was a sign that it wasn’t responding to the nifidepine. His recommendation because of my pain level and stress level (I was sobbing) was surgery. I felt like this fissure was single handedly destroying my life. We weren’t going out to dinner with friends anymore, I could barely grocery shop, I didn’t want to do anything because I was so uncomfortable. I don’t remember much after those words because I was in shock. I didn’t expect the word surgery. Apparently the 2 hemorrhoids I thought I had were SKIN TAGS. I learned that skin tags are the body’s natural response to a fissure. Because I was so upset they brought my husband back to the exam room to be with me. The dr continued to explain what would happen during surgery and recovery. He told me that I would have a lot of pain for the first few days but that it would be very different from my pain now. He told me I would have surgical pain…..and the spasm pain would be gone. He continued to tell me to take at least 2 weeks off from work. Despite my apprehensions…. surgery was scheduled for 1 week later. They sent me right over to the lab for my pre-op tests. At this point I was still crying and in shock. I dreaded the thought of surgery and especially the recovery of surgery “down there”. My only other option was to continue using the nifidepine to see if that would eventually work. The dr felt that my fissures were severe enough that the nifidepine would not do the job. I really like my doctor!!! He was very sympathetic to my pain level and my fears. So….onward with surgery.

2 days before surgery a nurse at the surgical center called me to go through all the pre-op questions and directions. She recommended drinking 1 or 2 Gatorades the day before to increase my electrolytes. She also suggested starting Miralax 2 days before surgery. I only did ½ doses to start. No eating after midnight but the morning of surgery I could have clear liquids. She recommended ginger ale or apple juice. I did some research online and recommend having the following items on hand for your recovery. These were the items that seemed to help me get through the first week or so: fragrance free & alcohol free baby wipes (LOTS OF THEM), Miralax, Dole prunes (already pitted), applesauce, Whole Grain Fig Newtons, Fiber 1 bran cereal and milk, Colace, Metamucil powder, ibuprofen or tylenol for when you transition off pain meds, 4x4 inch gauze pads (the nurse sent me home with some), grape juice or any other juice you prefer, a small mirror so you can check everything out and make sure you are cleaned up after a BM, Dove Original bar soap (you’re going to want something milld & gentle), a hairdryer with a cool setting. I also found the baby food fruits to be yummy and it was something quick I could eat when taking my pain med in the middle of the night. They also have quite a bit of fiber in each jar. The ones I found were 3 and 4 grams of fiber per jar.

I had my surgery on Feb 25 around noon. I had to be there at 11am. Not sure exactly what time they took me back. Again the prep (2 enemas) destroyed me! I was in excruciating pain all morning leading up to the surgery. The car ride to the surgical center was horrific…..my husband actually considered taking me directly to the emergency room because I was crying and screaming so much. I literally felt like I was a woman trying to give birth in a car. Once we got to the surgical center we checked in, wrote the check for the portion I was responsible for that my insurance didn’t cover, and they took me right back because I was in such pain. The nurse took my vitals, gave me a gown to get changed into, and then the nurse anesthetist came to review everything with me. They assured me that all of this pain would soon be over. Then they wheeled me back into the operating room and I don’t remember much else until I was in the recovery room with the nurse.

The doctor came in and told me that everything went well during the surgery. He removed 2 skin tags, sutured 2 fissures, and performed the sphincterotomy to release the spasm. As I was laying in recovery I did not feel any discomfort. I could feel like I was sitting on the gauze padding but otherwise I was fine. The nurse gave me 2 cans of cranberry juice and took my blood pressure a few times. Then after about an hour I was ready to go home. I was able to get out of bed on my own and get dressed. Then the nurse told my husband to pull the car up to the front door and she would bring me out. She offered a wheelchair but I didn’t need it. The ride home was a little uncomfortable just because I knew I had surgery down there and was sitting on the gauze padding that was taped to my butt. Discharge instructions were simple: take Tramadol (prescription) as needed for pain, switch to advil/Tylenol when ready, rest for the remainder of today because of anesthesia leaving your system, remove outside gauze pad this evening and take a warm bath, if you have a lot of pressure from internal gauze packing you can remove that too, drink a lot of clear liquids, resume normal diet starting the next day, avoid lifting 20-25 pounds for 2-4 weeks, continue to take warm sitz baths several times a day, use ice off and on for the next day or so for swelling if needed, only do steps if necessary for the first day or two.

1st night: I was doing okay until about 8pm when I started to have a lot of pressure. So I removed the internal packing….there was a little piece of gauze sticking out so I grabbed it with tweezers (very carefully) and started pulling. It did not hurt at all and it just kept coming. It wasn’t really a gauze pad….it was more like gauze tape because it was about 1 inch wide and very long. Then at the end there was a ball of it and that came out no problem. I was very gentle and did it very slowly….but it was not painful at all. Just be prepared because mine was almost 10 inches long…..but I guess it all depends on how far inside your fissures are located. Mine must have been pretty deep. Once the packing was out the burning started and it was horrendous!!!! I took a warm bath but nothing seemed to help. I tried ice and that didn’t help much. I was up until about 3am and finally crashed from pure exhaustion. I slept until 8am and got up to take another pain pill. At this point I was taking the Tramadol at regular intervals and I don’t think it was doing very much. It must have just been taking off the edge because I still had quite a bit of discomfort. All in all, be prepared for a very rough 1st night!!!!

Day after surgery: still taking it easy, only comfortable laying in bed on my side, still taking frequent sitz baths, not really eating much except soup, applesauce, baby food, oatmeal. I no longer had the fissure pain….now it was definitely surgical discomfort which I was thankful that the fissure pain was gone. I was drinking A LOT of water….over 100 ounces each day.

Several days following: I had my surgery on Thursday and by Saturday afternoon I was moving around more, I walked around the backyard very slowly but felt it was important to start moving to get my bowels working again. I started to eat a little bit more. My mom arrived to help because my husband had a work event he needed to attend. I was no longer taking Tramadol….I switched to advil on Saturday morning. I was taking 1 cap of miralax each morning, 4 stool softeners spaced out thru the day, and 2 Metamucil drinks (am/pm).

Sunday morning: I woke up on Sunday and immediately my stomach was growling and gurgling. It was making very loud noises and I could feel things working. I was hopeful that I would have a bowel movement in the near future because I was fearful of being constipated and injuring what the dr just repaired. I had some soup for lunch on Sunday and then decided I needed to pee. I went to pee and while I was peeing (not to get graphic) but 2 small pieces of feces fell out. I didn’t even expect it, however, I was thankful that things were moving. Within minutes I had a decent size 1st bowel movement and there was NO pain. I felt a little bit of stretching but absolutely no pain. I didn’t even have to push it literally fell out (I think miralax helped with that!) as I kept breathing smoothly and squatting over the toilet. However, I get very lightheaded easily and I immediately felt weak after the bowel movement so I laid on the bed for about 20 mins. I was thankful my mom was there because I did feel like I might pass out. I think it was a combination of my nerves and my muscles working down there for the first time. After about 20 mins I was able to take a warm bath and then start cleaning up myself. Let me just prepare you…..you will never wipe normally again (at least during recovery). I literally use 10 baby wipes each time, however, I was very paranoid about staying clean and avoiding abscess or infection. The baby wipes were a lifesaver…..soothing and gentle. Do not wipe….learn to dab, dab, dab until there is nothing left. I would stand up and spread my legs very wide so my legs were completely open and I could really clean it god. Once I felt I was clean I used my blow-dryer on cool setting to get rid of any extra moisture. After my 1st BM, I felt muscle achiness….no pain….just muscle soreness and achiness. My muscles down there felt fatigued….kinda like they need to learn how to work again. Lol No blood or any other issues during 1st BM either. I continued to go 2 more times that afternoon and repeated the same routine of laying down, taking a bath, and cleaning up.

Monday (Day 5) & Tuesday (Day 6) : Had 2 BM’s, starting to feel a lot better, moving around better, folded some laundry, walked around the backyard again, sat at the kitchen table on a bunch of pillows, and cooked dinner for my husband that night! Each day seems to be a little bit more improvement. I’m really pleased with how I feel at this point only 5 days after surgery. The fissure pain is completely gone…..all I have is some muscle soreness and achiness. The tenderness of my anus is also going away and cleaning myself up is not uncomfortable.

Weds. (Day 7): Minor setback……went to the bathroom 5 times today. Kept having the urge to go and each time it was a small amount. I still don’t have to push but I didn’t feel empty after I went. Also, today was the first day that I was having some leakage after a BM. I would clean myself up and then 15 mins later I would feel something and sure enough there was a little bit of feces that had leaked out. I read that this is common as the sphincter is healing and building up tone again. After my last BM I had a lot of bright red blood in the toilet and on multiple baby wipes. I started to panic a little bit but cleaned myself up as good as I could and placed some gauze between my butt cheeks. Then I laid down on the bed to keep my feet up and pray the bleeding would stop. It was not gushing but it was dribbling out of my anus. The bleeding slowed down but I continued to have bloody discharge over night.

Thurs. (Day 8- Less bloody discharge but I went to the bathroom 6 times today and was still having leakage after each BM!! It was exhausting! At this point I was questioning if I had made the right decision to have the surgery. I was very disappointed in my recovery at this point because I was really showing improvement Monday and Tuesday. So I called the dr and talked to a nurse. They told me that the blood I had the previous night is common in the healing process. They also recommend that I stop taking the Miralax because that it producing the frequent BM’s, keep taking the stool softeners, and only do Metamucil once a day.

Friday (Day 9) - Today is the 1st day that I feel like I could leave the house if I needed to! I am starting to feel normal again and not running to the bathroom all the time. The drainage has lessened. I don’t wear anything during the day….just a small gauze pad at night. I used the bathroom 3 times today. I still have a little bit of leakage after I’m done with a BM….however, I just make sure I always go back to the bathroom about 15 mins after a BM and clean up one more time. I’m still drinking tons of water, eating lots of fruits and veggies, prunes, applesauce, etc. I’m walking around outside more and doing more things around the house….but I’m careful not to lift anything too heavy or bend down too quickly.

Saturday (Day 10): Today I went 3 times again, however, I really feel better!!!! Today was my first outing since surgery! My husband took me grocery shopping. The car ride was so-so….I felt the bumps even though I sat on a pillow. It was not painful….just uncomfortable. I noticed some increased pressure from walking on the concrete floor at the grocery store, however, it was tolerable. I’m thankful my husband was with me because by the end I was getting fatigued and he was able to lift the bags, etc. Once we got home I made sure to lay on the couch for about an hour to take off some of the pressure I was feeling. Tonight I also felt strong enough to go out for dinner. We went to a small restaurant near our home where I was able to enjoy a soup and salad. I also sat on a regular chair, however, by the time we finished eating my rear end was getting a little uncomfortable. But it felt good to get out and about today. When we got home I had another BM and I noticed some increased drainage but I attribute it to how active I was today. Tomorrow I plan to take it easy and stay home. I’m thankful have another week off from work so I can work on building up my endurance and getting my BM’s straightened out. I would like to be going a little less than 3 times per day when I head back to work because it could make things complicated. I’m a teacher and cannot just leave the classroom at any moment.

**At this point, I’m very pleased with how I feel! The fissure pain is gone! My BM’s continue to move slowly and I do not feel the need to push. Sometimes I hover over the toilet and rock back and forth a little bit to try and get things moving. The muscle soreness/achiness is getting better each day! I’m starting to feel like I have my life back again!!! I have my follow up on March 11. My doctor is known as the best in my area and I am pleased with everything he has done for me thus far! I pray that I continue to have improvement each day and can return to work on March 14. I’ll continue to keep you updated. Sorry for the looooonnnnggg posts but I felt the details were necessary. I have been turning to these boards for help, support, advice, and ideas throughout my 4 month suffering and wanted to give back!
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Re: 9 days post LIS, skin tag removal, and fissure repair

Postby Manitourose » 07 Mar 2016, 14:39

Hi Amy,

I love how open you are and what you have shared. Truly inspirational. None of us are lucky to walk this path, it's a pain! But I really respect everyone who comes to this board for looking for answers and sharing their personal stories. Both take bravery.
You should definitely copy and paste your story and place it in the section "diaries" as well. That way when people are looking for a personal story it won't get as lost amongst newer threads.

Congrats on healing, such good news!
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Re: 9 days post LIS, skin tag removal, and fissure repair

Postby Savaici » 07 Mar 2016, 18:44

I've moved your wonderful post so that it will appear where you first posted it and in the anal fissure success stories too!
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Re: 9 days post LIS, skin tag removal, and fissure repair

Postby amy18322 » 07 Mar 2016, 20:51

Thank you!
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Re: 9 days post LIS, skin tag removal, and fissure repair

Postby CS64 » 22 Mar 2016, 02:50

Thanks for sharing your story Amy. Glad to see you are recovering gradually. I hope you get well at the earliest ! Cheers :-)
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Re: 9 days post LIS, skin tag removal, and fissure repair

Postby Severelydepressed » 08 Apr 2016, 09:31

Thanks for sharing your story, Amy! How are you feeling now more than a month later? I hope you're doing well. Sending you wishes!
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Re: 9 days post LIS, skin tag removal, and fissure repair

Postby amy18322 » 08 Apr 2016, 19:55

At my 2 week follow up appt on March 11 the dr was pleased with my healing. I told him that he was my “miracle doctor”! His first words to me in the exam room were “well…I’m pleased to see you smiling again and looking a bit happier than each previous time you were here in tears and in terrible pain.” I absolutely love my dr and am so happy with what he did for me! He only performed an external exam and said that the wound looked clean and healthy….exactly what he wants to see 2 weeks after the procedure. That made me happy because I was so conscientious about keeping myself clean. JJ I was given permission to return to work, however, he did not want me to exercise or do anything strenuous for another 4 weeks. He told me to start weaning myself off of the Colace and to continue to do 1 heaping tablespoon of Metamucil once a day. Otherwise he told me that I can resume my normal diet without any restrictions, however, I still felt a little “gunshy” and chose to continue to avoid “bad” foods. I actually wasn’t craving any crappy junk food so I didn’t feel deprived of anything. Honestly, I think part of the reason I felt so great was because I wasn’t eating crap. My “cheat food” is and continues to be 100% whole grain Fig Newtons at night with a cup of skim milk. Lol They are delicious and full of fiber!!! My bowel movements are usually in the evening; however, on occasion I may go in the morning and at night. When I feel the urge I get to the bathroom and it’s effortless. I still have very slight leakage afterward. So….I usually return to the bathroom about 15 mins after a BM to clean up again. I continue to use baby wipes, scent free and alcohol free, just because I feel like they clean me up better. Dr said I don’t need to use them but I can if I want to. Overall, It felt good going back to work, pain free, and getting back to my normal life!

Today I had my 6 week follow up appointment and I'm doing great!!! I've been back to work for about 4 weeks now and feel wonderful! If you read my initial post you know that I lost alot of weight throughout this entire ordeal. I'm pleased to say that I'm keeping the weight off as I'm reintroducing foods back into my diet. I'm not "dieting" but I'm eating good foods and watching portions. Still drinking TONS of water (over 120 ounces a day) and eating lots of fruits, veggies, and lean proteins. Every now and then I steal a french fry off of my husbands plate. lol Overall, I feel great and do not have any pain!!!! My bowel movements are completely effortless and I have NO anxiety or stress. I still go once or twice each day with ease ….no stress or anxiety. About 2 weeks ago I had one bout of diarrhea. I have no idea what caused it because I couldn’t pin point any foods that may have triggered it. During the diarrhea I was careful not to let my BM be “explosive”……sorry about the graphic wording but I think we all just “get it” because we’ve all been down this road. During today’s exam he did a quick digital exam to check the scar tissue….it was not painful but it still made me nervous. He said everything looks great and I don’t need anymore followup appointments unless I have problems again. He told me to continue to use Metamucil once a day, eat healthy, and continue to drink lots of water. I can start exercising but he warned me to ease into it and be cautious since my muscles are still healing. Complete healing may take up to 6-9 months. He told me to listen to my body and not to over do it. I’m still using baby wipes, and take Colace once every 2 or 3 days. The dr told me that I really don’t need Colace anymore so I’m going to stop using it.
I cannot stress to everyone how wonderful I feel after my procedure. I was completely terrified of the procedure, recovery, etc and I can honestly say right now that I do not regret my choice. I have my life back!!!!! Prior to surgery I was stressed out, living in constant pain, borderline depressed, felt awful both physically and mentally…….now I’m stress free, anxiety free, happy, and feel AMAZING!!!!!! If you are considering the surgery I recommend:
1. Make sure you see a GOOD and EXPERIENCED colo-rectal surgeon who knows what he/she is doing. I’m so thankful I found my great surgeon in my area.
2. Follow dr orders……they know what they are doing and just follow their instructions. The healing process is long, initially quite painful, but the procedure(s) works!
3. Do your research about the procedure, know what to expect, be prepared, get your supplies (listed in my previous post) prior to your procedure so you are prepared to be home recovering for a few days.
4. Be patient! You will be back to your normal self again soon!
Good luck! I wish everyone has the same results and success as I did. I say my prayers every night that I’m a fissurectomy, sphincterotomy, and skin tag removal success story!!!!
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Re: 9 days post LIS, skin tag removal, and fissure repair

Postby caf1988 » 10 Apr 2016, 04:16

Thanks for the story! I'm glad your experience is good, but it makes me feel my doctor is misleading me. I too am getting the procedure and the doctor seems to think i'll be ready to head to work in a week. I didn't ask him much about exercising yet. I do cardio once a day (45min elliptical) and lift weights - including squats, leg press, etc. would i not be able to do these things for 6-9 months? I have a pretty active lifestyle, I'm not sure if its worth the surgery. I have had the CAF for a year so far and tried cream and diet to no avail, but I can get it not healed, but my stools enough so its painless. I don't know if the LIS is a good trade off for me.
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Re: 9 days post LIS, skin tag removal, and fissure repair

Postby Newtothis » 23 May 2016, 11:50

It's fantastic to read about your experiences. I am now 7 days past op and have lots of pain still after BMs. Your story gives me hope.
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Re: 9 days post LIS, skin tag removal, and fissure repair

Postby Tryingtorelax » 30 Jun 2019, 19:43

Amy, how do you feel now several years after your surgery? How is your diet? Are you able to exercise?
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