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New to fistulas

I was formerly diagnosed with UC and I tried fecal transplant (FMT) back in March. The syringe they used to insert the enema had a sharp edge and nicked the inside of my bowel. 3-4 weeks later I had an abscess which I am SURE is connected to that sharp edge, but I can't prove it.

After the abscess was surgically drained, it has now turned into a fistula. I can see it in the mirror when I look up close. It's basically a hole right beside my anus. It has not yet been officially diagnosed. They are going to run an MRI to look for a fistula track, though I don't understand why the need the MRI if the fistula can be seen?

During this flare, I have also had prolapsing hemorrhoids and hardcore tenesmus. The prolapsed hemorrhoids were so bad that I was permanently lying down on one side because sitting was hell.

They now want to switch my diagnosis to Crohn's, just because of the abscess and fistula. But I swear, the abscess was caused by mechanical injury, not auto-immune. They don't believe me though.

My current flare with blood and pus is not subsiding and I wonder if it's because of this fistula. It never drains at all. No pus. It's slightly tender if I press hard on it, otherwise it doesn't hurt. Is it possible for the fistula to be closed on the inside, but not the outside, so there's no discharge?

I don't know what to do. I may have to wait months for this MRI. In the mean time my healing is halted it seems.

Your advice is super appreciated! TIA!

Wikipedia says fistulas never heal on their own. Is that true?


Staff member
Yes it's possible to start healing on one side or the other of a fistula and that side closing off. I'm not sure what could have caused it. Maybe it was a sharp edge that caused it, you will never know for sure. Fistulas can sometimes heal on their own, however most require minor surgery. It isn't minor to those of us having said surgeries though. You will be okay but be sure to watch out for signs of infection or another abscess. In particular watch out for sweats, chills, nausea or an increase in fatigue or pain. Also watch for feelings of pressure. These types of symptoms are all worthy of a trip to the doctor. I hope things improve, it sounds like a fairly shallow fistula so it may heal fairly well if you do frequent salt water baths...look up sitz bath on the web, they are helpful.

Best wishes
Hi Connor,
A perianal fistula is not such a complicated business unless it is very high.
It may take some time, but usually they are cured in the end.

When I realized I had a fistula, I was also hoping that maybe it could heal itself. However & unfortunately, after some time it becomes evident that it will not heal by itself...ever. So the best thing one ought to do is to find a TOP and I mean a TOP CRS immediately!!
Usually, you have discharge with a fistula. If it is not discharging, it usually means that it is building an abscess, so you should be feeling some sort of pressure. If none of those symptoms are present then it could be something else.
In any case another opinion from a new CRS would help; would it be possible for you to sort of go around the system and not wait for too long for the MRI?
Things will workout, keep fighting.