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First fistula. Advice needed.

Hello all, this is my first post. While i dont have crohns disease, i had a perianal abscess that has turned into a fistula. Today i had a rectal exam under anesthesia and the general surgeon said it was too close to the muscle for him to do a fistulotemy. So i now have a rubber band seton tied around in there. Hes referred me to the colorectal surgeons to see if they think its possible to operate. Hopefully i get an appointment soon. If not,do you guys think my chances are pretty good of this healing up being that i dont have crohns? I have always been able to eat whatever floats my boat and i still can even after all of this. Im just nervous about trying to stand and work all day with this rubber string in my crack. Any helpful advice would be appreciated minus the horror stories. I have seen enough of those on here and i finally dont feel anxious now that i know whats going on. Thank you all in advance


Staff member

I think your chances are pretty good that things will heal up well. The colorectal surgeon was the best thing that ever happened to me. After he worked his magic I healed and haven't had another fistula or abscess in 6-7 years. I thank him and I also thank God for that.

Good luck, I think you can beat this problem with the help of the new surgeon. You might try lidocaine jelly on the sore spots, it numbs the area. I was told it was okay by my doctors, I would ask your doc about it first though. Keep in touch!


Luckily we have pretty good healthcare in the greater Pittsburgh area. Thanks for the quick reply man! I will be doing sitz baths forsure i already bought one after the initial i&d. And i will keep you posted for anyone that comes across these theads the same way i did. Thanks again.
My first fistula in 2008, surgeon didn't use or didn't know about using suture or string.
About 12 months later i had another episode ( now three fistulas in similar area ) met a different surgeon who explained this string through the fistula + my anus. I told him i hadnt eaten for 24 hours so as to be able to drive to hospital to see him ( going to toilet about every 1/2 hour + pain )

Cutting through details i went into surgery next day. Had three loops through my crack for some 6-9 mths from memory. Mixed salt in warm water in a container + used that in the shower. Yep salt, no i dont remember pain associated with rinsing ( much anyway.)

Use a hand held shower for rinsing the area after every movement. ( if possible )

Lastly, see doc straight away if you feel sweaty or your upper leg starts to swell.
Happened to me. Got put onto a course of antibiotics.
Internal infection 4-6 weeks after operation. This happened some 12 mths after as well. Knew what to do this time.
I now keep a packet of penicillin tabs in the bottom of the fridge just in case.
Sevenish years on ,no fistulas.
Note: Dont strain to much when on toilet, better to go several times rather than strain out the lot in one go. ( my experience after surgery )
Good luck mate. It'll all be good, just takes time.

On tabs for crohns: Azathirophin150m, salazaphrin 500
Will do. Just got an appointment scheduled for june 20th it was the earliest i could get even with a referral. I guess ill just have to deal with it until then. Not in much pain with no pain meds in me. Going to take ibuprofen though. Thanks for the replies and ill keep updating
Also just had my first bowel movement since wednesday. Wasnt very painful and im getting a shower directly after.


Staff member
Will do. Just got an appointment scheduled for june 20th it was the earliest i could get even with a referral. I guess ill just have to deal with it until then. Not in much pain with no pain meds in me. Going to take ibuprofen though. Thanks for the replies and ill keep updating
Ibuprofen is what's called an NSAID, which means (Non Steroidal Anti Inflammatory Drug). It can cause irritation for some peoples digestive tract among other things. I was advised against using it myself, however some people take it in moderation and it's fine. I take Tylenol instead but it doesn't really help much unless it's Tylenol#3. Here is more info on NSAID's... Best wishes, I hope the pain stays minimal.

Very true about the advil. Im switching off with tylenol to keep my tummy at bay. Havent had probs with ibuprofen before but you never know. I had really good day today and went to the annual massive car cruise we have around here. I walked maybe 2 miles and had some beers and almost forgot i had this butt piercing in me. Ive been so anxious lately it felt amazing to just have a normal day and do the normal things i would love to do. It may be the beers or ibuprofen talking but i think ill be okay.thanks again for the support.

Lynda Lynda

Ek1996 : Hello and welcome. It sounds like you have a great attitude, which is much needed when suffering from fistulas and abscesses. I am glad you had fun at the car "cruise." Taking time to have fun is a good idea. Yeah, sitz baths feel nice and helps with healing. I used a sitz bath after my anal fistulectomy in 1992. I have not had another fistula, but did have two abscesses 10 years later. The abscesses were drained and healed quite well. I don't use NSAIDS, just acetaminophen. Keep in touch and take care.:drink:
Thank you linda, im trying to stay positive. Its hard when youre favorite things are riding your motorcycle and playing video games lol. Probably contributed to the initial abscess with those two things. Being only 21 yrs old this is the first health problem ive really had and its quite depressing at times but im just hanging in there. Going back to work today.
Yeah im two weeks in and it doesnt bother me much.
Just had appointment with colorectal surgeon today. Im on the plan of having the lift procedure done.
Hes very confident in doing it and does a lot of them so thats good. Gotta live with the seton until september now but ill be alright.
The only thing is the little black sutures tying the seton poke me a good bit.
That's great to hear that it doesn't bother you - did your surgeon discuss the laser (filac) treatment at all? That is what I have just had, after 6 months with a seton
Still hanging in there, not doing too bad. Drainage is still constant but also minimal. Its true you do get used to these things (kinda)
Still likes to stab me to remind its there while im walking around work.(on my feet all day)
I get some weird pains radiating around occasionally while walking but i suppose thats normal.
Been trying to not crouch over a mirror and looking all the time i check on it every week or so to make sure i dont see any other signs of it tracking.
I can sit on bar stools and harder seats for longer periods of time now and even got my motorcycle out for a few short rides.
Thanks again

Lynda Lynda

Ek1996 : Glad to hear you are healing well. 🙂

After I went back to work from a rectal abscess surgery in 2002 I was carrying a soft bed pillow to sit on. 😄
I sat in a desk chair all day. My co-workers didn't know why I had been off from work, but they soon found out 😄

Take Care 🌼