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How did your Fistula Show up?

I have perianal crohn's and I'm really worried I'm going to to end up with a fistula. My meds don't seem to be controlling any of my fissures and now I've noticed a lump the size of a pea down below.. it's kind of like a blind pimple. Anyway for those of you unlucky enough to be suffering from these terrible manifestations, could you please share how they presented..
get it checked.

I thought I had a boil on my bottom cheek it turned out to be a fistula which Dr's confirmed was a stricture. Colonoscopy couldnt be done because the scope couldnt get past the stricture. CT Scan showed inflamation and rectal stenosis. and I wound up having my colon disconected (illiostomy colostomy)


I never had perianal crohn but got peristomal. I guess it might be different all in all but mine would simply start with lot's of pain as it would cross the skin and what not. Then I'd get some area getting blueish/redish on my skin. It would be hot and really painful and I could often feel a small void in the center before it would open. The skin would generally be hard all around the area except the center. =S
that is what happened with mine, it opened and then started to drain so I thought all was well all I had to do is let it heal.... it wouldnt stop draining, dispite keeping a dressing on it for a few days, so then I went to the ER I couldnt sit because it was painful and laying on it was even more painful.
I had a sore spot on the side of my anus. After a couple days the pain kept increasing and I realized there was a kind of firm lump there. Called the GI who refused to see me for it. They said I had to see the colorectal surgeon directly.
wow, he could have at least taken a look and tried a colonoscopy at least make an attempt, seems kinda arrogant of him to me,

I went to the ER, was seen by the ER DR, who refered me to the GI and Colorectal Surgeon. They went through the steps, Colonoscopy, (couldnt do) then CT SCAN, then surgery...
Well, its ok. I think the surgeon is more knowledgeable regarding this stuff anyway. Anytime I have issues that may be involving abscess or my fistulas I call him first. My IBD nurse couldn't even explain to me exactly what a seton was so...you know. I'll let the GI prescribe my meds and the surgeon take care of the other. :)
Thanks guys, It is hard and sore to touch but it's not hot and have no other pains at this point... I'll be keeping a close watch on it. Thanks for sharing. x
You mean you ain't been to the DR YET? lol If it is hard and sore to the touch, and is on your bottom, then it could be a fistula.. or might not be...

Do you have any other symptoms? Constipation? Runny Diareah? A stricture in the rectum is what caused me to have those symptoms... I had rectcal stenosis. My stool was only coming out runny, my colon had been communicating with the intestines and food was going to parts of the body it shouldn't have..

I thought my fistuala was a boil, so i just kept an eye on it, and tried to treat it with draw salve and boil ease... All I was doing was letting the stricture in the rectum grow and fester...

not trying to scare you, just shareing my experience..


Chief Dandelion Picker
Hi J: One of my two fistulas is re-developing an abscess right now (bummer) and feels like you describe -- a hard pimple just under the skin. I only know mine is an abscess because of past experience; else, it wouldn't be as clear-cut.

Take good care!
I understand the inclination to wait. I always worry how big these things are on the inside though. You can't see them and you can only feel what has worked its way close enough to the surface to feel.

In my opinion, it's worth a call at least. See how they respond. When I made the call it was pounded into my head that I needed to be seen immediately - likely they will do the exam and send you on your way with Flagyl/Cipro. Who knows, tiny as it seems to be perhaps it will heal it before it can grow into a problem.
Thankyou both for your help.. I have notice the lump is shrinking and is not as sore, so I think it was a false alarm.. Generally I am not so passive about these things but my GI is 2 hours drive away and my GP here is terrible. As soon as things started to get worse I'd be there.. Thank you for your support I really need to be aware for what ever shows up with this disease, not that I'll ever be prepared..
As others have described above... mine started feeling like boils about an inch from the back passage that became hot, swollen and very painful. Then they eventually turned into abscesses. Without being too gross one of them when I pushed it I could feel puss draining back into the back passage so I could tell there was a fistula there.
i had bad perianal crohns for 2 years before my fistula developed. i had a lot of swelling and puffiness around my vagina etc. eventually it was very painful to sit down. the fistula was a recto-vaginal fistula- was running to the loo one day with d trying to hold it in when it came out the front instead- was very painful :(
good that you are keeping a close eye. take care.
I had an abdominal fistula - i had surgery and they left my abdo cavity open due to sepsis.

I was having the dressings changed daily and had been home a week (so 2 months post op) when i developed a fever - my GP is married to my GI and she mentioned a fistula.

The next day "fozzie" appeared through what was left of the wound - he never went away and even got a friend to join in on my right hip!

I knew it was a fistuala when i ate tomato soup and 1/2 hour later there was tomato soup draining out of my belly button!

The main issue was it was so close to my ileostomy they were constantly leaking into each others dressings.
Ouch! FruitLoop.. That's insane. We just don't realize what can happen until you see it for yourself.. Hope you,ve had some healing since.
(Your children are Gorgeous)
Just found this thread.
Yay for fistulas ans abscesses. I have just had a panproctocolectomy with ilieostomy because as my gi said my buttwas nackered.
My first vaginal abscess was about 15 years ago. I went to a GP near where I lived, revealed the whole crohns history etc etc, then told him my problem. He accused me of being sexually promiscuous and that I would just have to deal with it until it burst! So as you can imagine I never mentioned this or any other 'rude part' problems to my Gastro, as I didn't want him to judge me as well.

As it tured out that was the start of my first recto vaginal fistulas, to the point where faeces very watery would pass through these when they weren't all festering and abscessed. Got to the point that abscessed were forming every couple of weeks and I was using a sharp implement and a mirror to relieve them. Each time I mentioned hem to GP or surgeon I would end up in hospital having setons or having the fistulas splayed open. Mum of 3, hospital 4 hours away was way too hard to cope with

I only wish I would have spoken up to my Gastro about the abscess earlier as I may have been lucky enough to have got early treatment. Also wish I told rude judgmental GP where to go.

I was on infliximab but after the 3 rd infusion I had an anaphylactic reaction, changed to Humira but didn't hold them at bay.

Good luck.
Well to add my 2 cents to the conversation. The way you described it. A hard painful lump about the size of a pea. I have the exact same thing right now. I thought it was a hemmy and when I went in for my scope thursday my GI said that it is a skin tag. He was not to worried about it, but I am still keeping an eye on it. I do have some steroid cream that I have been using on it and it seems to shrinking a little and it is not as painful as it use to be.

If it gets worse please get it looked at. I know you have read some of the earlier post by the others and see that it can be a real problem.

hoping your bum feel better soon.