Aa
Aa
A
A
A
Close
Avatar universal

4th surgery for Anal fistula, may need 5th. help

I am so over these surgeries.  I just had my 4th surgery for a fistula and this one did not work. The Dr. did an extensive flap repair and stiched the flap over the tract. Went yesterday for follow up.  Infection settled in the flap area and he is talking about a seton placement. This surgery was one week ago. I am getting very depressed as he said the tract is way up in the rectum.  I have had the 4 surgeries in 4 months.  Can ANYONE help me with this or direct me to a web site for me to look at.
I don't want to spend the rest of my life dealing with this. Thank you
61 Responses
Sort by: Helpful Oldest Newest
Avatar universal
I've had to surgary first one anal abbest . Went good then a year later started hurting again . Went back and they said I had a anal fistula . Had to wait a hole year cuz I didn't have any money cuz I was layoff from work . Then I finally got some money had my second surgery . Now this is werid okay surgery went good went back and I though I was getting these two stictes out but there not stieses there wires comeing out of the fistula right bye the butthole . Dr said the fistula cut throw the mussal of my butt and the strings are tied to each of the mussal so he can put weights on them pulling on the mussal make them hit eachother so they can heal back together . When he tryied this the first time I cryer so bad I'm 27 Years old and cryed like a baby . He said next time he will numb it so it don't hurt but has anyone ever hurd of this I'm really scared his won't work
Helpful - 1
Avatar universal
Well, individual stories help because we all have similar cases, but some more similar than others. So, brief Summary:
28 year old male, started 4 years ago. Started as Anal Fissure, which progressed into abcess. Abcess drained, until discovered that the problem was a fistula that led from the top of my sphincter muscle to the top of my but crack, right over tip of tailbone. When that was discovered, opted for advance flap.Din't work. This is over the course of 2 years, of having the insicions packed, abcesses lanced (developed 3 lumps over time)
It's been 2 years now since the last surgery. Everyday I live with a draining fistual. But, so far, as long as I don't drink too much coffee and I eat relatively healthy, and exercise, I've learned to live with this. Being a young male, it's exteremly embarrassing, and in fact, no one knows besides family. And even worse, I'm single. My last girlfriend became my nurse, which destroyed a 5 year relationship. But so far, so good. I'm dating, and having sex, and no one is the wiser. I have 2 giant scars on my ***, but I just say I broke my tailbone and the scars are the surgery for that. It's possible to live with this disgusting, embarrassing, and seemingly incurable condition. But you need to watch your diet and exercise--HUGE. I've noticed the draining increase when I don't do that. And take plenty of showers. . Surgery should be a last resort in replacement of diet and exercise, since surgeries don't really seem to help. It's almost like we need a further advancement in this field before I'll even consider going for another procedure. Anyhow, I'm here with the rest of you, and I'm without insurance, which makes this condition even scarier. Take care all, and spread the word on any advances in the field.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
No, I have not had a seton placed, or a fistulectomy, or fistulotomy.  Mine started with an abcess.  Then one doctor went in to tear away some muscle.  In the meantime, I sought a second opinion by a colorectal specialist. 4 weeks after the second surgery, I had emergency surgery because I started bleeding and my white count was 18. He also put in a drain tube.  That stayed in for 2 months. Had another surgery last Friday to remove the tube and he did a large advancement flap.  Stayed in the hospital another 3 days on I.V. antibiotics.  Yes, I have been on antibiotics for some time now. Tequin. So, after my visit this friday, he said I had an infection, opened up where the drain tube was, again,and said he still saw the fistula tract. I go back Monday to get rechecked.  Possible Seton placed. Now you see why I am so depressed.  Nothing has worked.  He has talked about the glue, but I don't know what is next.  Will I ever get over this. And if I have the fistulectomy, he said I might risk being incontinent.  This is the worse case he has ever seen.  I am just wondering if the first doctor messed up and did not know what he was doing.  He should have helped me when he drained the cyst.  Right?
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
fistulas are unbelievable scarey things.  I'm really sorry you are having problems resolving yours.  it sounds like so far, you've had procedures done to incise and drain the abscess and then most recently had a flap repair done.  getting the abscess incised and drained was the right thing to do.  but there is always the risk of fistula development.  incontinence can be a result of a fistulectomy.  a lot depends on how much of the spincter muscle is damaged or scarred by the infection and healing process.  in some situations, a ceton can result in incontinence too.  but a ceton might help you until your infection is throroughly resolved.  because nothing is going to heal well if you keep getting infections.  

if your surgeon is saying this is the worst he's seen, you might want to consider finding another surgeon that has more experience with fistula repair.  is there a large teaching hospital in your area?  or a colorectal surgeon that 'specializes' in perianal Crohn's disease?  those would be your best bet because they would be the ones that have seen and dealt with a lot of complicated fistulas.

good luck, I hope the doc sees some positive changes at your visit tomorrow.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Thank you so much for your replies.  I WILL post tomorrow and let you know how my office visit went.  I appreciate you and your concerns.  It helps to know some one cares.  If he states he wants to do surgery AGAIN, I will let you know.  Wish me Luck!
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Two years ago, my daughter had a fissurectomy - they anal muscle was cut. It was done with a local. She suffered so much before she had this procedure done. Not that it wasn't painful after - it was. But it got better after time. She also used nitrogyclerine ointment and this was helpful as well. Are you going to see a colorectal surgeon? That's the only surgeon I would recommend, because they are very experienced in this field. Good luck!
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Yes, I am seeing a colorectal surgeon.  The best in my area. sorry about your daughter.  I know they can hurt. i will know more tomorrow about my 5th surgery. My doctor thinks that I got this from a spider bite on my rear while painting my home. I have  been dealing with this for 6 months. And don't you know it is getting old. Just want my life back.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
I have suffered from anal fissures for 7 years. At the last count I had 4.
I had an anal stretch initially but this did not work and was then admitted for a sphincterotomy. When I was given the full version of the operation and the risks I decided at the last moment not to have it. I have other health issues and did not want to end up with an incontinence problem as well.
I was given the 0.2% ointment which was excellent but always had problems when I went to collect the presciption as it had been made out as 2% every time so I gave up in the end.
I do need to get the problem sorted out and would consider Botox as an option.
I was told by the Consultant that the more fissures you have the tighter the muscle becomes as the brain sees this as a way of protecting the area from more damage.....unfortunatley then the straining gets worse and then more fissures......so a no win situation.
You all have my sympathy I know what you are going through.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
An update from my doctors appt.  He found some infection, not as much as last Friday.  He wants to see me on Thursday and he put me on flagyl.  If I am not better by then, I will have surgery for a Seton placement under IV sedation.  Hopefully, it will be an out patient.  Wish me luck for Thursday.  I will let you know.
Thanks
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Good luck and let us know what exactly happens and how you get on.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
I feel for you. I myself am about to undergo fibrin glue surgery on January 16th (my third surgery for anal/vaginal fistula). I've had two flap failures, and am frustrated like you. But wanted to reassure you about the seton placement, because I just had this done two weeks ago. The procedure itself wasn't bad. The shots were the most painful, but if you have a good surgeon, he'll go slow and massage the area. Just remember, it's not the needle that stings, it's the medicine. After the first few shots I didn't feel the rest of them, nor did I feel anything else. Take some pain medicine as soon as you can after the surgery (ask your doctor - depending on the sedatives they give you). I was in moderate pain directly after the sedatives wore off. It's not too bad if you can take pain medication and just go to sleep. The seton took a little getting used to, but it's not even been two weeks and I'm not even bothered by it.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Could you please give me more details on this seton placement. I did not know there were needles involved, or did you do this in his office.  I will be put under I.V. anesthesia as an outpatient. Geez, needles. He said I had to go back once a week after it is placed to tighten it.  What is involved in that? He talked to me about the glue.  He said it doesn't work for most people. Seems like I am running out of options here if the seton doesn't work. My last resort is a Fistulectomy and I don't want that yet. The risk of being incontinent is my fear. It scares me to know that I could soil my pants and not know it. I am too active for this.  I am a bad patient because I am a nurse and I expect miracles.  you do not know how much "patience" I have learned with this problem. And this is the word my doctor uses. Patience. He must have made a fortune just on my rearend. Well, I go tomorrow for a check up to see if the flap finally worked.  If not, I will go Friday for my surgery for the Seton. I will be glad when I can finally get on with my life. Please let me know about the Seton thing. Thanks so much!
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Oh, by the way, I forgot to ask.  Why are you having the glue if you just had the seton.. Did that not work?  Or is this extra precaution to fix this problem? Thanks
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
good luck tomorrow Giblett.  sometimes seton placement is done using local anesthetic and sedation.  but sometimes the doc wants to do a thorough evaluation and explore the fistula tract and maybe clean it out a little.  that requires a general anesthesia.  well, I've heard of a few people that have endured that without sedation or general anesthesia thanks to a particularly uncaring surgeon.  my motto has always been.... "knock me out and wake me up when it's over".

actually, I'm trying to schedule an MRI of my pelvis to look for possible abscess/fistula development....... again.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Your kidding.  Another one. Geez, what in the world is causing these? I feel for you also.  I know how frustrating this is for you. I don't think I could take a local for the seton placement. knock me out too!
Thank you for your concern.  It is good to talk to people about this and know they understand what you are going through. Do you have any idea how you got yours? you would think they would go in and close this shut so nothing could get in there. But, I know the end result, fistulectomy.  And I want to avoid that if at all possible. Good Luck Kimbcat.  My prayers are with you.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
thanks!  I really appreciate the kind thoughts.  

I've had quite a bit of perianal Crohn's disease (an inflammatory bowel disease).  fistulas, abscesses, fissures, etc are complications of the disease.  recently, I've been getting fissures around my labia and perineum and I've been having a lot of pressure from inside my pelvis pressing out.  I have a permanent ileostomy, so no rectum.  doc felt some fullness in the area upon exam, but can't tell if it's just scar tissue from prior surgeries or not.  I've also been getting a lot of infections due to the medications I'm on.  so he wants an MRI to check everything out, since MRIs are better than CT and ultrasound at finding fistulas.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
I am so sorry.  I did not know it was this bad. God, and I have been complaining. I really feel bad for you.  I sure hope your test come out o.k. I am going to put you on my prayer list. Makes you wonder why, doesn't it. But I realize how many people I can help just by talking to them.  And you have helped me alot.
Blessings to you!
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Went to the doctor today.  He wants to wait until next Thursday before doing anything else.  He said I had some infection but it is looking good. so, The news of not having surgery tomorrow was a blessing to me.  will keep you all posted.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
good to hear!!!!  moving in the right direction.  take it easy, tho, ok?
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Hi, I am new here, I just was surfing and found this website. I wanted to share what I have been through in the past month.

I went to my GYN because I had an anorectal abscess. He sent me to a surgeon and it was cut and drained in his office. It was horribly painful.

After 12 days, I still had draining and some pain. My doctor found that I had an anal fistula and I needed surgery to fix this. I had my surgery almost 3 weeks ago now. I went to see him for a followup and he said it is healing the way its supposed to and he wants to see me in another 2 weeks. This was almost a week ago now.

I am doing OK, but I am still not comfortable all the way. I still have some swelling down there but most of the drainage is gone away. Its starting to close up. He said its healing from the inside out.

I am a 29 year old woman who never has health problems. This whole experience has freaked me out to tears. My quality of life has not been too good over the past month and yet I am still not feeling the greatest. I am in total fear that something is still wrong even though my doctor looked at it a week ago and said its doing well. I just wanted to share my story because it seems like some of you KNOW what I am going through because NOONE in my family or friends has a clue here as to how I feel.

I have been so depressed about this. Its been a month and its constantly there. Anyone that wants to comment I would greatly appreciate the support here. I hope and pray every day this goes away and that I am well again soon.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Hello, just wanted to say I though I had it bad, my heart goes out to you all. I wanted to pass along, that I too have had 4 to 5 surgeries and my last one my doctor, who is a colonrectal doctor, who listen, takes time to explain everything, also his staff. My last surgery, a Seton Placement was inserted, and althrough it has been in for two years now, and I have not any more lumps or boils come up, just every month I go in to have the seton tighten, now afterwards, it's sore, but nothing a little pain medicine can't take care of. At every visit to the doctor I'm asking when will the seton be removed, but reading someone else pain, last night I thought about the different things that you were going though and maybe I should let it stay in as long as possible. So just try the Seton
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Hello, just wanted to say I though I had it bad, my heart goes out to you all. I wanted to pass along, that I too have had 4 to 5 surgeries and my last one my doctor, who is a colonrectal doctor, who listen, takes time to explain everything, also his staff. My last surgery, a Seton Placement was inserted, and althrough it has been in for two years now, and I have not any more lumps or boils come up, just every month I go in to have the seton tighten, now afterwards, it's sore, but nothing a little pain medicine can't take care of. At every visit to the doctor I'm asking when will the seton be removed, but reading someone else pain, last night I thought about the different things that you were going though and maybe I should let it stay in as long as possible. So just try the Seton
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Hello, just wanted to say I though I had it bad, my heart goes out to you all. I wanted to pass along, that I too have had 4 to 5 surgeries and my last one my doctor, who is a colonrectal doctor, who listen, takes time to explain everything, also his staff. My last surgery, a Seton Placement was inserted, and althrough it has been in for two years now, and I have not any more lumps or boils come up, just every month I go in to have the seton tighten, now afterwards, it's sore, but nothing a little pain medicine can't take care of. At every visit to the doctor I'm asking when will the seton be removed, but reading someone else pain, last night I thought about the different things that you were going though and maybe I should let it stay in as long as possible. So just try the Seton
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Hello, just wanted to say I though I had it bad, my heart goes out to you all. I wanted to pass along, that I too have had 4 to 5 surgeries and my last one my doctor, who is a colonrectal doctor, who listen, takes time to explain everything, also his staff. My last surgery, a Seton Placement was inserted, and althrough it has been in for two years now, and I have not any more lumps or boils come up, just every month I go in to have the seton tighten, now afterwards, it's sore, but nothing a little pain medicine can't take care of. At every visit to the doctor I'm asking when will the seton be removed, but reading someone else pain, last night I thought about the different things that you were going though and maybe I should let it stay in as long as possible. So just try the Seton
Helpful - 0

You are reading content posted in the Digestive Disorders / Gastroenterology Forum

Popular Resources
Learn which OTC medications can help relieve your digestive troubles.
Is a gluten-free diet right for you?
Discover common causes of and remedies for heartburn.
This common yet mysterious bowel condition plagues millions of Americans
Don't get burned again. Banish nighttime heartburn with these quick tips
Get answers to your top questions about this pervasive digestive problem