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Seton surgery? first one need advice.

10 years ago i was 12 and formed an abscess and a fistula, had that drained and doctors never did anything about the fistula. I haven't been to a doctor for my crohns since i was about 14 or 15.

Recently the place where the fistula is has been irritating me so i went to the rectal surgeon and he wants me to get a seton.

He says ill be in and out in 1 day with minimal risk.

I found out when i got home that there are setons and cutting setons his office is busy and i cant get him on the phone, which do you guys suspect he'll use.

Is this a procedure that's even worth me doing?

are seton's permanent? can they be permanent?

After they do this is it painful for a while?
What about using the bathroom afterwards?

Are they uncomfortable? can you you feel them normally? Do they affect regular activities after the initial healing?

Thanks for any help. I'm easily freaked out by medical procedures.
I just had one put in. Mine is a regular seton, and the surgeon said they used to do cutting setons, but not as much anymore. I would guess they would have told you if that's what it was, but if I were you I'd still want to know for sure.

The outpatient procedure for my seton was not bad. It hurt a little bit for a few days, and I took two halves of a Vicodin over the course of three days, and that was enough to get through it. I also used a local Lidocaine creme on it, and that helped immensely.

Going to the bathroom is doable, but you may want to get a portable bidet (Toto makes an awesome one) and just be really careful with wiping. Use wet ones or something. I take three sitz baths a day, and that also helps a lot with the pain. You also have to be really careful not to get either constipation or diarrhea, so taking less pain meds is a good idea, and be really careful with your diet so that your stool is in good shape, and that will make things much easier.

I've only had mine a month, and they said maybe a few months, but I read on here people have them for years. I don't think they're meant to be permanent though. I'm going on Remicade which they say will help heal it up, so that's the ultimate goal with all this I think.

Good luck and don't worry about the procedure itself! I didn't have a general, but a "twilight" anesthesia with sedatives, and those are awesome. You don't remember or feel a thing.
Setons will keep abscesses drained, but you have to get your disease under control. My daughter uses a peri bottle to flush her anal area after BMs. This is a bottle that you can carry with you to work etc. Hygiene is important. Setons allow you better comfort and quality of life. Keep doing Sitz baths first couple of weeks to help with soreness.
Mine was done in day surgery under a general. Had the setons for 6 months. Going to the bathroom was fine, but walking was irritating and cycling was interesting to say the least. I didn't start going for walks until week three, but I also had internal stitches so I wasn't allowed to do anything (those also hurt like hell when they start to dissolve).
Wow, i'm kinda bumed about getting it done, I'm going to get a GI doctor first and see what he says before i make the appointment for it.

This forum is great, thanks for the replies guys.


Here's an older thread that might help you. In my response, I tried to explain what it was like to get my seton.


I had alot of concerns before having a seton, but over time, I did get used to it. Something I mentioned recently that it helped me to try to see it as part of the healing process. I would definitely encourage talking with your GI and understand why it has been recommended. :hug:
Hi Brfitzp! I'm going to have that done on the 15th for the first time, too, and am feeling a little nervous. Just wanted to send hugs your way!