My experience with an Anal Fistula

Approximately 3 months ago I started having stinging pains when I took a shit.

Being the kind of self conscious person – who doesn’t go to doctors – that I am, I figured the advice I would find on google was as good as anything a doctor could give me. I had diagnosed myself as having a fissure – a small tear in the lining of the anus. And I have to give myself a little credit here, because as it turns out, I was probably right.

According to what I had read on google, the standard treatment for a fissure would be a little bit of cream to encourage healing and what not. I’m a man, I figured if I could just deal with the pain while it healed it would be fine. So deal with it I did.

Time passed. The problem persisted.

More time passed. The problem got worse.

Now not only was it stinging while I took a shit, now my anus (balloon knot, if you wish to be so vulgar) would severely swell up afterwards. The swelling would last 12 hours and more, and the whole time there would be some kind of strange discharge coming from my anus, like pus mixed with faeces. Oh yeah, I would also bleed from my anus… bright red blood all over the toilet paper when I wiped. Sometimes the water would turn pink from the blood.

In retrospect, the swelling was probably worse than the stinging. Much worse.

By now I was already strategically planning my bowel movements. If I was going to be at work, I’d make sure to have the bowel movement the night before, because generally the swelling would reduce over night to a point where I could do my job relatively pain free. Reduce – not clear… No.. clearing would take 24 hours +

I had found regular pain killers (ie.. stuff you take for headaches) would help with the pain, so I would take a couple neurofin before a bowel movement in a sad attempt to counteract the pain I was expecting to come. Sure, it may have helped a little, but I was still in agony.

When I wasn’t in pain, I was happy. When I was in pain, I was in pain. I didn’t tell anyone. Not a single fucking person. People must have noticed me switch from happy to borderline suicidal. People must have wondered why all of a sudden I would be biting their head off, getting aggressive over the most minor offenses.

I had trouble sleeping because of the pain. I missed appointments. I wouldn’t show up for work. I turned down opportunities to go out to dinner with visiting relatives (who had to take a plane trip to come see us). All I could tell people was that I didn’t feel like it… and I felt really sorry for myself when people got angry at me. But I couldn’t tell anyone, I was so embarrassed.

Did I mention how much it hurt to fart after taking one of these painful shits? Oh god….

By this stage, the swelling was even more severe. I had 2-3 permanent giant lumps between my testicles and my anus… After taking a shit, these lumps would go rock fucking hard. Dear lord it hurt. Sitting down in this state was impossible. The swelling would still go down after 12 hours or so, but the lumps didn’t disappear.

Feeling increasingly depressed, I told the only person I felt comfortable telling. I told someone I had mostly only ever known over the net, but had met in person several times many years ago.

Amazingly, this person had experienced something very similar. He had experienced a pilonidal cyst right next to his asshole. Based on what he told me I eventually realised I didn’t have the same thing.

Anyway, he told me I should definitely go and see a doctor, because he had waited almost a year before seeing a doctor, and when he finally did, the doctor said that waiting was the worst thing he could have done.

I still naively refused to see a doctor.

The problem kept getting worse.

A week or two had passed, and I told another friend. He pressured me to go and see a doctor, and insisted that whatever it was, a doctor would be able to have me healed up in a couple weeks with some antibiotics and whatever other magic potions he had.

I couldn’t go to the doctor. I couldn’t face the idea of having someone examine my asshole. It was too embarrassing.

During the week I had planned to go out to lunch with mom, and the night before I had taken a torturously large dump which had left me with very very severe swelling. I shouldn’t have even been at work… it was that painful. But anyway, during my lunch break I went out with her to get sushi.

Over lunch she detected that I was extremely depressed and almost seemed to know that the problem was somehow related to my groin area. Maybe I was walking funny, or maybe she just knew that this was the one place a person isn’t going to talk about. I ended up telling her what it was, and she, being the wonderful mother she was, went and made an appointment for me with her doctor… even though I was adamant I couldn’t do it, and told her not to.

I manned up and went to the doctor. I told him I thought I had haemorrhoids (hemorrhoids?) or a fissure. He asked me lots of questions about it and stuff which could be related (ie.. diet) and I told him all about how horrible it all was. He eventually examined my bum, and the only thing that was really uncomfortable about it was the awkward position I had to lay in on the little bed in the corner. It wasn’t painful, and it wasn’t particularly shameful. He was very professional and easy to talk to about the whole thing. And he had a small finger too… which is good. He diagnosed the problem as “piles” and gave me some cream and some suppositories. He told me the problem should be significantly better in a week, and almost cured in two.

When applying the cream, I had now noticed that when pressure was applied to the lumps between my balls and ass, air and liquid would actually come out of my ass. After a very uncomfortable self examination done infront of a mirror with a directional lamp, I had determined that there was a small hole just inside the exit of my anus, and applying pressure made blood and pus come out.

I did exactly as I was told for two weeks with literally no improvement.

I did some more googling and rediagnosed myself as having an anal abscess – an infected pocket inside my ass. And again, I have to give myself a little credit, because I was right again.

I read that abscesses are usually treated by making an incision, under local anaesthetic, in the external swelling, allowing it to drain out so that it can heal. I also read that if left untreated the abscess will turn into a fistula, which is when the pressure builds inside the abscess and it bursts on the surface, leaving a permanent tunnel connecting the inside of your ass to the outside. I also read that by making an incision and draining an abscess, it can turn into a fistula anyway.

Around this time some new things had started happening. Now, when I farted, gas would actually go into the abscess… that’s right. My farts would inflate the abscess. Fuck it hurt… it really hurt. However, I did find that applying pressure to a certain area would allow gas to pass freely without entering the abscess. I also discovered that applying pressure to the swelling several hours after a bowel movement and draining as much pus as I could (and believe me, there was a lot) would significantly lessen the pain.. but I couldn’t continue to live like that.

I went back to the doctor, he had another look and agreed it was probably an abscess or a fissure, and referred me to a specialist.

I went to the specialist the next day. He asked me a bunch of questions. I told him how awful it was. He then examined me… he didn’t have a small finger. The telescope type thing he put up there wasn’t small either, but im pretty sure his finger was bigger. He was much less gentle than my doctor, but he definitely knew what he was doing.

He was certain that I had an abscess that was on the verge of turning into a fistula. He believed that I had originally had a fissure, which left untreated, turned into a chronic fissure which then got infected and turned into an abscess. He booked me in for surgery in two weeks time, and prescribed me with two antibiotics, stool softener and some painkillers for the mean time. The surgery I was to have was called a Fistulectomy.

A fistulectomy involves surgically removing the complete fistula tract and then leaving it to heal by itself from the inside out, without stitches. This requires daily packing to soak up all the bad stuff and keep the wound open so that it will heal from the inside out, thus avoiding another abscess. In the end I asked him about the surgery and he revealed that the procedure I had was actually more of a fistulotomy, which is pretty much the same thing, except the tract isn’t cut out, it is simply de-roofed and then the infected tissue is scraped away.

The antibiotics didn’t help much, but the painkillers were great. I could finally sleep without being in complete agony after a bowel movement.

I saw the specialist again and he decided to book me in for an MRI the day before the surgery.

The weekend before the surgery the antibiotics actually started working! Now there was no significant swelling or pain after shitting. I was a little worried that I was going to be having an unnecessary surgery and that the problem was going to clear up by itself, but a conversation with the specialist over the phone quickly put that theory to rest. That weekend, the abscess also officially turned into a fistula. I now had a tiny pin sized hole outside my asshole which pus and blood would drain out of.

Day before the surgery – I go and have the MRI. The MRI itself was fine, not scary or anything. Hard to keep my legs completely still, but since they are only scanning my anal area, that’s not such a big deal. I talked to the specialist later in the day and he tells me there is definitely a fistula which may have one or two tracts.

Day of the surgery – I go to a private hospital and a nurse gives me this weird little enema thing which I administer myself. It was this tiny little tube with a long nozzle and it makes you want to completely empty out your bowels – which I did… and it wasn’t particularly pleasant, but the antibiotics and painkillers were helping.

Specialist comes in shortly after, tells me the surgery is going to be delayed for another 2 hours. I get asked a bunch of questions by a nurse. Lay in bed watching discovery channel on tv.

2 hours pass, two nurses come in and wheel me off into theatre. When I arrive I am greeted by the anaesthetist who asks me a bunch of questions. By the way did I mention, all of these people are very nice and do their best to make me feel comfortable.

I’m then moved on to the operating table and the anaesthetist gears me up. The 10 seconds after he starts pumping the anaesthetic into my IV were pure bliss. I don’t remember going out, I just remember the sensation of my whole body buzzing.

I wake up, greeted by an attractive nurse who is extremely friendly… I’m pretty fucked up, not in pain though. I’m eventually wheeled back to my room and left to rest.

Family comes and goes, my leg is numb as hell and I’m having trouble sleeping because of it. Doctor comes in and tells me that the surgery was a success and that the fistula was mostly superficial so there will be very little chance of incontinence… this is a relief. He says the fistula was unique because there were two tracts instead of just one.

Next day I go home and sleep in my own bed – my how we take our own beds for granted.

Not much else to say about my recovery. I was scared to take a shit, but as it turns out, it wasn’t really painful at all. The pain from the fistula was 100000 times worse than the mild discomfort I was having now. I take a bath mixed with table salt after every bowel movement as advised by the specialist, and when I get out of the bath I’m in no pain at all (I think the baths are absolutely essential if you don’t want to experience any pain afterwards).

I was taking mild painkillers, but I’m not actually sure that I needed them. I was never in any significant pain. Seeing the wound in a mirror (A handheld mirror) was quite shocking for the first time… I mean it’s a really big wound….

Here is a picture, probably taken about a week after the surgery. Please keep in mind, it doesn’t hurt, it just looks bad.

Every day for the next two weeks a nurse would come to my house and pack the wound. The packing was a little painful sometimes, but for the most part, completely pain free. I would try to have my bowel movements and baths in the morning before the nurse came, and this strategy worked quite well. When it didn’t work, I just put a bandage over it and left it until the nurse came back (ok I lie, I actually packed it myself on several occasions… but it didn’t always turn out so well).

Two weeks after the surgery and I go back to work. Before work I go to see a nurse and have it packed like before.

It’s been a week since then, and so far everything is great.

Still pain free, no longer depressed… Just fucking happy that this phase of my life is almost over.

If you came to this blog because you’re suffering like I was, don’t be a fucking douche bag. Go to the god damn doctor. I’m fucking telling you.. you NEED to go to a doctor, this is not something you want to leave.

The whole thing has costed me around $2K when you include the visits to the chemist, MRI etc.. My medical insurance was pretty shit, but it helped a lot. I plan to upgrade my medical insurance to full coverage soon in case I ever need it again.

Use a specialist. Don’t go through the public health system. You want someone who’s done this type of procedure many times before

Anyway, i’ll keep you posted.

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119 Responses to “My experience with an Anal Fistula”


  1. 1 zack May 31, 2009 at 7:16 am

    thanks for the great information. I have had an anal fistual for more than 20 years, and I will be doing the surgery in a week or two. What’s it like for the first few days post-op? Seems like such a gaping wound will be very ackward and uncomfortable for awhile. My doctor is giving me 2 weeks medical leave, but I want to get back to work as soon as possible. Will I be able to sit and walk within a few days?

  2. 2 mv June 17, 2009 at 3:55 am

    Hi Zack,

    Wow, 20 years! I couldn’t stand having it for 20 hours LOL. You should be able to walk, but I would advise not sitting for long periods of time, because truthfully it takes longer than that to heal, and it’s important to keep pressure off of the area. After my surgery, I did everything that normally required sitting just lying face down on my stomach; paying my bills on the computer, watching tv, etc. It works wonders.

  3. 3 painintheanus July 1, 2009 at 3:27 am

    I realise I’m late, but I can testify to what mv has said. Avoid sitting down for a while.

    After 2 weeks of more or less solid bed rest I started sitting at my computer with my leg folded under so that there wouldn’t be too much pressure around the wound.

    I’d have been pretty bored without that wireless laptop and Seinfeld DVD box.

  4. 4 Pain October 19, 2010 at 9:25 pm

    I read the story, and im not shure I have the same thing, but I have been in minor pain for 3 years now, I am like you, too mutch of a man to go see the doctor. But after reading this, and seeing what it may turn into, I will definately call a doctor tomorrow. I am now sitting with TP up there, to stop something that has started to leak out, like you had in the beginning. Im deffinately calling my doctor tomorrow!
    Thanks!

  5. 5 Lisa January 23, 2011 at 2:06 am

    I just had the surgery five weeks ago. The puss wouldnt drain properly so I went into surgery again. They made a larger cut. It hurts like hell. My husband tries to pack it for me twice a day. I’m so fcking depressed I cant see straight. Honestly cant see any light at the end of the tunnel…dont know what to do.

  6. 6 Tkr86 August 8, 2011 at 1:36 pm

    I’m also having the same problem (fissure or fistual not sure what it called), but just for about a month now….I’m seing a doctor in 2 days from now.

    Do you think having this for this long I will also go to surgery?

  7. 7 Anonymous August 23, 2011 at 6:11 am

    Not sure if you are still monitoring this blog. I was officially diagnosed with having a fistula about two years ago. For the most part, I have just been dealing with it for fear of surgery and something going wrong. I keep reading about people who had the surgery and ended up incontinent. I would rather deal with the bleeding and pain than to crap myself. But I know this can’t go on forever. I know that at some point I will need to deal with this because I keep reading about other problems that could arise if left untreated. Don’t know what the hell to do.

  8. 8 Anonymous September 20, 2011 at 10:38 pm

    i know what you mean ive had mine for nearly a year and i am on a waiting list for surgery, but it doesnt hurt much so i am worried about needing two weeks or more of work to recover and ive read about it leaving people incontinent

  9. 9 Anonymous October 10, 2011 at 2:05 pm

    I left if too late and didnt see a doctor for 6 months , now I am paying the price and already had 3 surgeries just to deal with the abscess .

    my advise is not to delay , see your doctor or surgeon .

  10. 10 Brad November 18, 2011 at 4:50 am

    Haha man i love your description.

    I am in the hospital right now and just had an exact surgery on 2 fistula tracts in ano.

  11. 11 Anonymous December 3, 2011 at 7:18 pm

    I’ve had a fistula for about a year now. The usual story. Started with a fissure, then an abscess. Had that drained. They stitched it up (WRONG!). After the stitches were removed the fistula began to form. Very long story short, I’ve been dealing with it but it’s getting worse. I’ve read MANY stories of people who are in worse shape after 2 or 3 operations, so I’ve been trying all sorts of natural and homeopathic remedies. The biggest reason I’m avoiding the surgery is simple. I am a professional drummer. I must sit down to make money! To complicate things further, my wife passed away last year at the tender age of 40 from ovarian cancer. I do not have her to help financially so I must keep working. This sucks! The one good thing is the pain I feel while playing has transformed my style into one of massive aggression! Gonna write a drum book called “Drumming is a pain in the ass” 🙂

  12. 12 William January 17, 2012 at 3:26 am

    Thanks alot for all the info and pictures. I had the same thing done last week and was getting pretty freaked and scared by what it was looking like. But being able to read and see it looking exactly like yours really made me feel much better about the recovery. I will say this for everyone one else, dont rush back to work, give at least a week or it will be hurting!

  13. 13 Carl February 28, 2012 at 3:11 am

    Thanks for sharing your experience. I had my operation a week ago.

    I had fistula for six months because the doctor suggested it will be better to wait for at least three months or more so the fistula tract will form (mature). He said if we take it out early and the tract is not yet hard, there’s a possibility of recurrence cos some stuff might be left behind. It will be best if he can take out the tract whole. So i waited. I didn’t have any pain the last six months except before every drainage of pus/blood. My opening closes for a week then gets filled up with stuff (thats the painful part) then drains. I get pus and blood for a week then I will have a week or two of normal life then there’s a pimple again, gets filles up and drains. That cycle.

    Fast forward six months later. I got the surgery. I am on my second week of recovery. Pooing is painful and 5 minutes after it. Cleaning my a** is a challenge. I use wet wipes and slide it between my butt cheeks. I use like 10 sheets after every bowel movement. I am just paranoid leaving poo/dirt that might infect my wound. I don’t patch the wound. The doctor says it will be better to use pantyliners or diapers. I used diaper the first two nights I got home from the hospital, its so freaking hot. I switched to pantyliners. I do warm sitz bath three times a day. I have this air cushion (small floatie with a hole in the center) so I don’t really sit on my a**. I need to eat lots of fruits and veggies to keep my poo soft.

    So that’s basically where I am right now. Its depressing sometimes cos I can’t poo or sit like normal people but I am telling myself this is almost over. I hope I won’t have any problems anymore after this.

  14. 14 alex1111 February 28, 2012 at 5:33 pm

    hey carl,

    i just had my op also a week ago on feb 21. i suffered for 5 months before i decided to do the surgery. the scary thing is to look at the gapping wound down there. i still have a stingy sensation down there sometimes. i get drainage everyday but less blood now.
    how many days after surgery until you have your first bowel movement?

  15. 15 Mary Stewart March 6, 2012 at 2:38 pm

    Just read this post and please consider me who is an avid fan of reading health awareness articles. I just remembered my uncle who experienced this kind of horrible situation. Though i can’t totally understand but still i can feel you. I will share this link to my uncle for sure he can relates to your description. Thank you for posting and all the best for you.

  16. 16 hero June 8, 2012 at 11:52 am

    Your lucky man… they didn’t do the tube thing to me, the doctor told me to not eat the day before the surgery, so i listened to him, and the day after surgery i had to take a shit, it was the most painful experience in my life, i just could not get it out i was constipated, my stepmother is a nurse, so i asked her what should i do, she told me that i should help it, (with my fingers) yep this sounds disgusting but it really worked, the same day i got it out later, then i was constipated the other day too, since the doctor told me to only take in fluids for 3 days, they should’ve done the tube thing to me before the surgery, i went to the doctor today, he told me its going pretty well, he also cleaned the thing… I hope it’ll take less then 2 months to heal… If any of you guys have any tips on helping it heal faster, please respond…

  17. 17 hero June 8, 2012 at 11:55 am

    Also i was embarrassed to tell people about the fistula, and i thought it was my diet, i had it since September, and i used to pop the thing, i thought its not that bad, and it used to reduce for days, and then for weeks it used to get worse, so after 8 months i decided to tell my father about the fistula, and he immediately took me to a doctor and made an appointment, so on the 31st May, I went to the surgery, i hope i don’t get this stuff again, and it heals fast, since i’ve been having a bad time with it…

  18. 18 sumit June 12, 2012 at 3:33 am

    hey friends! I have done LAS and EVA just 3 days ago.I’m now really fine.The pain after surgery is much lower than the pain before the surgery.Even doc told me to take painkillers after every 6 hrs.But I don’t need to take it.Altough Doc told me to do everything after 48 hrs.But I decide to take rest.I had first a fissure.It was bad really bad!Particularly the time of defecation everyday I just think about ‘why still i’m alive’???Sometimes i feel that there are some drops of tear come from my eyes.I was totally exhausted for last one years.Altough from the first day i always consulted with doc and he told me it’s fissure and nothing to worry about it.But last Thursday he told me the fissure turns into a fistula.I was scared and told him just to do what is required and the next morning the surgery has done.It’s not so scarcy what we think about it.Infact after the surgery I feel much better now.Till a bit discharge happening but doc says it’s normal and take a bit time to stop.Now I feel actually good after one long year.

  19. 19 Jessie August 24, 2012 at 3:01 pm

    I had anal fistula surgery 2 days ago and I’m in pain as I type this
    The surgery went well I took a nice hot shower when I got home and that felt good
    As I lathered my ass with soap my finger slid in the hole from surgery and WTF that hurt like hell I think I touched my tail bone
    How long should I experience this pain for?
    My douche bag doctor never came I’m the room after the surgery to give me^^ any kind of info

  20. 20 Andrew September 21, 2012 at 11:47 pm

    Thanks for posting your experience!

    I have Crohns Disease, and only a few days ago had a Fistulotomy. 3 weeks prior, I had an anal abscess drained which was a huge relief, but only a first aid solution. The incision for the draining was only about half an inch but left me somewhat shocked that I had an additional hole down there.

    Now after the Fistulotomy I have a 3-4 inch open wound which I’m still coming to terms with. My lovely wife is doing the wound packing, which is sometimes 2x daily as when I crap, the packing falls out.

    Well done to everyone who has been brave enough to face up to this, to see a Dr and to endure the pre-op pain. Post-op so far has been discomfort, with some minor pain. As the days go by I’ll get more comfortable with my limits and start walking like a normal person and not an ape!!!

  21. 21 Anal Erotic October 24, 2012 at 6:30 pm

    hi!,I love your writing very much! share we keep in touch more approximately your article on AOL? I need an expert on this space to unravel my problem. Maybe that’s you! Looking ahead to see you.

  22. 22 Tessy December 23, 2012 at 6:38 am

    I don’t know if what I would state will of help to any person. I first had anal fissure in 1991. It started after I had taken a bottle of coke about 3pm having skipped my breakfast on that day and having not taken any thing. I travelled for about two hours, then on arriving my house, I had feeling of fulness in my bowel that I need to go to the toilet. Immediately I sat on the system I felt was I gassing, not knowing it was blood that had almost filled it. I was weak and panic attack. I rushed to a general surgeon who examined my anus and diagnosed the case as anal fissure and he recommended surgery, though he advised that I could live with it if I managed it properly. I noticed that I always bled each time I ate sugary thing or peppery food. From the observations I started withdrawing from sugary and peppery foods. However, it continued each time I made the mistake of eating them and it was usually very painful, excruciating if I may say. I was scared of going for surgery having done some unrelated surgeries in the past. I lived with the pain till 2004 when I came across someone in one the days I was enduring the pains. He told me he suffered it for long and bled profusely on each occasion until he met a doctor who recommended Lactulose Solution, and ever since his, had become a history but he takes the Lactulose the last thing in the night after taking his meal. He gave me a bottle which I took religiously, the pain and inflammation subsided. Ever since I take Lactulose Solution every night before I sleep or immediately after taking my evening meal. The Lactulose helped in neutralising any sugar and pepper that would work negatively on my rectum and even mould faeces and makes it a bit oily and moist so that it does not hurt the anus any more. Ever since I don’t have bleeding from the anal fissure or pains and no more inflammations. Any one having anal fissure can give it a trial. It has been working for me ever since.
    However, right now I have a pimple like painless bump at my gluteal fold.I had visited a doctor and after examination she asked me not to bother. I’m researching on it in case any one has an experience to share.

  23. 23 lynnelehmer December 27, 2012 at 2:11 am

    I have this problem, too. How do we find a specialist? Should a GI doctor be a specialist in this. I deal with this problem, too, and am not getting the help I need from two different doctors. My money is tight and I have no insurance. I don’t want to waste my money on more doctors that don’t seem very knowledgeable. I’ve been working with this myself and have been able to stop the bleeding and control pain. But, after reading all these stories, I think I should see a specialist. So, is it a fistula specialist or what?

  24. 24 Hoj January 11, 2013 at 7:47 am

    Lynne, in my case my fistula was initially spotted by a general doctor who then sent me to a colorectal surgeon for a more thorough examination and confirmation of the diagnosis. If you feel that your doctors are not dealing with your situation properly and wish to see someone more informed, you could try looking up colorectal surgeons in your area and giving a call to their office and seeing if you could make an appointment to go in and see someone. Best of luck.

  25. 25 joni March 28, 2013 at 4:20 am

    Finally saw a colorectal surgeon after dealing with my abscess-turned-fistula for 2 years and being on antibiotics for one year. I refuse to have a fistulectomy/otomy due to the possibility of incontinence. I’m looking at having a seton drain placed for starters and see if I can live with that long-term. If not, he’s talking a LIFT procedure, which is less invasive than a fistulectomy/otomy and less chance of incontinence, especially if the fistula does not involve much of the sphincter (I have not had an MRI or rectal ultra sound at this point, so we don’t know where the track is yet).

    SO, my question is directed at anyone who has experience with a seton drains and/or LIFT procedures….any suggestions? I also think a plug would be an excellent way to go if I could find a doctor who can place them/stitch them in correctly.

  26. 26 stacey April 8, 2013 at 12:28 am

    I have a draining seton in for seven weeks now from a an abcess that turned into a fistula. It continuously hurt because stool kept getting trapped in the pocket of skin that closed around it the seton. Two days ago I went into surgery so the doctor could make incision bigger so it would drain better. i looked in the mirror and was so sick from the sight. It is now a deep hole with dissolvable stitches. Now I have nothing coming out except for a little bit of blood. It burns badly and the inside is forming yellow puss like material before a scab forms. Has anyone had to have this done?

  27. 27 External Anal Sphincterblog X April 8, 2013 at 9:45 am

    It’s difficult to find knowledgeable people about this subject, however, you seem like you know what you’re talking about!

    Thanks

  28. 28 actrice-anal.fr April 8, 2013 at 5:28 pm

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  29. 29 Diamond April 20, 2013 at 2:49 am

    @Joni – I have two seton drains in now. I actually had a surgery back in Oct, with one drain placed – I didn’t heal as expected, I was told I healed too quick and I may still have a “pocket” inside so I now have two fistulas placed. My second surgery was just 2 weeks ago so I’m still recovering. I have daily packings, based on my last experience I expect this will last for at least another 5 weeks. I find the wound heals around the seton. I have heard sometimes the setons may fall out themselves, or if the fistula tract eventually just dries up itself the doc can just snip them out. In my case some of the tract goes through my muscle, so my surgeon said she will most likely try the LIFT next. I believe they need the whole area to heal up as much as possible before attempting the LIFT. My second surgery was supposed to be the LIFT procedure but as I was still draining quite a bit, they decided to “open up” the area a bit more. I will be seeing her in 2 days and she’ll be letting me know what happens next. I did ask about the Plug as well and was told that the LIFT procedure has better success rates. I also spoke with someone online that was healed via LIFT – she had tried the Plug and numerous setons – but the LIFT was the final successful option. I can live with the setons – you won’t notice a seton after a few weeks. However, there may be constant draining and you’ll need to tuck gauze to catch it. I will definitely be okay with trying the LIFT – I’ve lived with this issue for years now and cannot wait to be back to normal (I don’t remember what that feels like :)).

    @Stacey – I had a fistulotomy wound that fully healed pretty quickly (6 weeks) or so I thought. I kept getting some blood and pus from it, so they had to open it up again. Since you’re getting burning, and yellow pus – that sounds like a potential infection to me. Is there a funky smell? I would definitely go back to your doc – they may prescribe antibiotics. Ensure you’re taking lots of sitz baths to keep the area clean.

  30. 30 Diamond April 20, 2013 at 2:51 am

    @Lynne – You definitely need to see a colorectal surgeon. If possible, I would recommend seeing a female doc (assuming you’re a woman too :)). I’ve seen both male and female doctors – I found that other women could relate a little more to what I was going through as our anatomy in that general area is slightly different from men!

  31. 31 Janice May 4, 2013 at 1:29 pm

    Thanks so much for sharing your story. My son was just diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease and has a small anal fistula. On another note I am married to a physician. If someone is reading this blog for self diagnosis for fear of embarrassment for going to doctor, stop reading and make an appointment. Doctors attended medical school to help. My husband is an oncologist, but believe me he has seen it all. And if by some chance they haven’t seen it, they will be able to help work the problem out. Never feel embarrassed around your physician. Thanks again for the information. I feel better prepared to ask my son questions on pain and swelling. He is 12 so I am kinda nosy about the fistula. He is under the care of a good GI doctor.

  32. 32 dingaan nkutu May 8, 2013 at 7:02 pm

    i m greatfull to hear this story I v been always that its me only who suffered from this condition and fear of being embarrased to tell the doctor and share with other people who turned to be very supportive but after the operation done doctors said there are many wholes so another operation need to be done off which they said that one will be very painfull because theres still a pus

  33. 33 http://old.fijlkamfvg.it/userinfo.php?uid=12857 June 7, 2013 at 3:07 am

    Un sourire beau ça se reprenne.
    Votre dentiste est a meme de se transformer en un pur devin.

    Pour les gens qui ne veulent pas reperer la preuve de la vieillesse sur ses dents,
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    Pour le cas des facettes en ceramique elles sont adoptees pour cacher le defaut.

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    les memes methodes comme les faux ongles,
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    Ce processus est de meme adopte pour faire disparaitre la
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    La totalite du soin s’adopte en une seule campagne et le traitement demeure
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    Parmi les procedes qui sont utilisables le plus il faut noter
    les accessoires de blanchiment a la maison ajoute les soins en cabinet dentaire tenu par un dentiste experimente.

    L’acceptation des therapies orthodontiques est difficiles a consentir
    aussi bien pour les jeunes que les personnes agees.

    Pourtant l’aboutissement de cette forme de soins ne sont plus a prouver

  34. 34 Valise Pas cher Samsonite June 18, 2013 at 4:33 pm

    La premiere question qui se pose avant de faire un voyage est
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    Trouver la valise appropriee en cas d’un long voyage est assez difficile.

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    Les boutiques en ligne qui offrent des bagages pas chers sont nombreuses et prennent de
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    De plus, differents choix de prix et de qualites se presentent.

    On peut apercevoir differentes marques sur ces sites, Samsonite, Tumi, Little Marcel et autres.

    La reduction des prix sont causees par la forte concurrence.

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    elles font, presque tout le temps, des promotions.
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    Pour un sejour, que ce soit long ou court, on peut avoir tout
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    Il faut quand meme mentionner que le nombre de clients sur internet s’accroit de plus en plus avec le temps.

  35. 35 Augusta June 29, 2013 at 3:52 pm

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    A

  36. 36 to reduce fat July 6, 2013 at 8:40 am

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  37. 37 billet d avion pas cher pour tunisie July 9, 2013 at 11:22 am

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  38. 38 Tom McGowan September 4, 2013 at 10:10 pm

    I am about to have my second “lay open” operation on my Anal Fistula, i have currently got something called a Seton thread fitted which stops helps drain the puss and other harsh fluids off, such a horrible situation to be in. Your story is good man, makes me think there’s light at the end of the tunnel.

    For that I thank you.

  39. 39 Lesley Nuttall September 21, 2013 at 5:06 pm

    It is almost 3 weeks now after my surgery, I have a seton suture and the open wound that is still being dressed daily. I had terrible pain for a couple of weeks after the surgery and the discomfort now is a pain in the ass! Struggling to keep having a poo easily, so taking laxatives now too. I am amazed when I read others on here saying the pain wasn’t too bad after surgery. The wound leaks a lot sometimes and I am very concious of it, I wear a sanitary towel at all times (aswell as dressings). To top it all off my skin has now become sensitive to the dressings and is now sore too. I initially went in for surgery to remove an abscess and it turned out to be an anal fistula, the surgeon said it was 10 cm deep.

  40. 40 Dewlilly September 28, 2013 at 11:57 pm

    Thanks to all who have posted their stories … I had an abcess which when drained and then a fistula formed and is leaking from the drainage spot. I have met with a GI specialist and he wants to do a fistulotomy but isnt sure on if there is spcinker muslce involved so he may end up doing a seton. I am terrified for any of it and almost convince myself that living with the fisutla isnt so bad. but on days like today where the pain from the fistula is almost unbearable i want the surgrey. I asked about packing the wound after the surgrey and and he said no .. is that bad? I have developed such bad anixety from all this that i dont know how my husband will get me to the hospital on the day of …. I dont have crohns or IBD .. so i am not sure about it all coming back … all i do i cry over this … for the people who have had the surgery vs living with a fisutla .. any advice … there is no where to turn for this kinda of stuff and i am so thankful for people posting their stories as i dont feel so alone with this.. any advice anyone can shed for me is greatly appericated …. thanks again to you all

  41. 41 Lesley Nuttall September 29, 2013 at 4:47 pm

    Dewlilly I had the surgery nearly 4 weeks ago now, I have a seton suture. and open wound which was packed every day for over 3 weeks and this week just dressed because I am told it is healing well. It still seeps pus/blood though and stuff coming from my bottom with the drain. I had what I thought was an abscess for a year and was so fed up of it that even knowing what I know now would still go ahead with the surgery because hopefully this will all heal and things will be good. I have had to wear dressings for nearly a year (with the abscess) and I will be so happy when this is done and dusted with. It wasn’t going to go away without the surgery that’s for sure. If you end up having the packing it’s not too bad really, stings a bit, sitting down is painful. Best to lie down. One of the problems I am having now is that I am getting sensitive to the dressings. Basically I would opt for the surgery if it means pain discomfort for a while so that in the long term it might be fixed kind of thing.

  42. 42 Dewlilly October 2, 2013 at 10:57 pm

    Thanks for the advice Lesley, this all still scares me to no end but I do think the surgrey is best. Its a lil hard not knowing which i will wake up with; a seton or a fistulotmy … the idea of a bowl movement with all this is scary too as i can have 2-3 a day … May i ask how long your seton could be in for? They say my fisutla track is on the long side as when they drained my abcess they went in like at the site of the abcess instead of closer to the anus … I apologize if i am annoying in any way but there is no where for people to turn to or talk about this stuff …. thanks for your time 🙂

  43. 43 Lesley Nuttall October 3, 2013 at 7:47 pm

    As they say it is good to talk, I don’t know anyone who has been through the same thing so it good to be able to seek advice on forums like this one. I went for a review yesterday to the consultant and he said that I will need to go in under general anaesthetic for an examination and the seton suture replaced. So looks like it’s not coming out any time soon. I was so scared of having a bowel movement after the op, I do get constipated from time to time, I didn’t go for a good few days and when I did it was difficult and I bled but wasn’t as sore as I thought it might be. It’s just for me when I do go for me it’s shower down the area straight after and redress. I am going through dressing like you wouldn’t believe too. I can’t leave it one change a day changing at least 3 times a day. Don’t want to sound disgusting but make sure you have plenty dressings for afterwards.

  44. 44 Dewlilly October 4, 2013 at 11:12 pm

    Sorry to hear you have to go back in Lesley .. I am the oppisite with my bowel movements .. i usually go a few times a day never usually get constipated so i will proabably do lots of sitz baths or showering lol …when i had my abcess drained the dressings or the tape i should say killed my skin to the point i would bleed when i had to change the dressing when removing the tape. I found paper tape was a lil better but still irriated me …. i am hoping it all pays off in the end though .. for you too 🙂

  45. 45 Lesley Nuttall October 5, 2013 at 5:29 pm

    I am having a similar problem with the dressings, my skin has become very sensitive to them and has bled. too,which all adds to an already unpleasant experience. Hope all goes well with you too. 🙂

  46. 46 AnalSex-Female-Fissures-Sphincterotomy-Abscess October 9, 2013 at 2:37 am

    Hi,

    I had anal fissures for 3 years after an accident having anal sex. After losing my mind using GTN and finding only mild relief from Diltiazem to what was comparable to someone shoving a knife up my arse every time I went to the toilet I had a sphincterotomy.

    The surgery got infected during surgery, which caused an abscess. I had the abscess “removed” 2 weeks after sphincterotomy in emergency surgery, not by the same surgeon. The wound always shrinks to a small pinhole but has become infected another 3 times since removal, so overall I’ve now had 5 operations.

    The wound has settles down now and is 1cm deep and a small pinhole, it is an intersphincteric abscess. I managed to catch an infection early and have 3 weeks of metronidazole and co-amoxiclav and now it barely drains anything. It is right by my anus so the only thing I have found that works to keep out feces is to wear a medical glove, put a piece if gauze over my finger and put that finger over the hole, which is right next to my anus, when I go to the toilet.

    The hole is now too narrow to pack so we are using aquaform gel. I’m 9 months after the sphincterotomy… I don’t know when this will heal… I don’t know if the abscesses will come back in the future. It is settling down now, the gloves idea was a God send. Has anyone been at this stage where it’s very small but just not healing any more?????

    If I can help anyone please let me know.

    Key tip: If you think it’s infected, it will be… immediately insist you get antibiotics the day you feel it might be infected and if pus is still coming out you WILL have to get it drained.

    Tee xxx

  47. 47 AnalSex-Female-Fissures-Sphincterotomy-Abscess October 9, 2013 at 3:01 am

    For people who are constipated drink coffee or lactulose. Lactulose will soften and not make you go. Coffee however will more or less make you go, which is good if you need to organise your bowel movements.

    I also think that though my surgery got infected, I could not live with the pain on the fissures, and to have a fistula must be inconceivably worse. Don’t worry about incontinence, people have whole anuses ripped apart in childbirth and they can be fixed so no one can be that incontinent. It is also a misleading term as often they mean you will release gas more easily, not poo your pants. And so what if you do! It’s like once, better than a lifetime of pain.

    Always clean with salt water or boiled water. No soap. You can use soap in the shower to wash your body but don’t get it all in the wound.

    Red meat is a good healer. Vitamins with a probiotic in are good.

    Try and sit naked for a bit, get the air to it. But also important not to let it get dried out. So after washing make sure it’s dry but if it isn’t producing much fluid it’s good to use a gel like aquaform to help healing across the wound.

    Keep walking but not gym and getting sweaty. Sleep loads, eat anything you think is healthy, drink milk before bed.

    I know it’s hard guys, and believe me I feel the fear and the impending doom, but we need to help more people who have this, and we need to stay strong and get happy again. And as for embarrassment, so many people have seen my backside now I don’t even think of it as not normal. haha. What does it matter in the grand scheme of life? Nothing matters, all you need to know is one day it will be better.

    Tee xxx

  48. 51 Lesley Nuttall October 19, 2013 at 8:59 pm

    I have had surgery about 8 weeks ago now. Was left with an open wound and a Seton suture. Not sure if anyone actually looks at these posts any more but I am due in a couple of weeks for my suture replacing, still got a lot of disgusting stuff coming out right now and need to wear a pad all the time. How long is this likely to go n for?? I am guessing it’s like asking how long is a piece of string but really had enough of this now. 😦

  49. 52 Dewlilly October 26, 2013 at 1:47 pm

    I cant help answer your questions lesley but sorry to hear you are still dealing with all this. Not sure if you are on facebook but I found a group on facebook called Rolling with no colon and its a lot people with crohns or colitices or bowel/plumbing issues. everyone there is very supportive and try their best to answer any questions/concerns, might be worth a shot. Hope things turn around for you soon… i am still waiting for my surgery date.

  50. 53 Dewlilly October 26, 2013 at 3:41 pm

    Sorry the group on facebook is called No colon and still rollin

  51. 54 Lesley Nuttall October 26, 2013 at 4:55 pm

    I found it I think, just concerned that other friends will see any activity on there? I haven’t told everyone of course simply because of the nature of this problem. There’s 2 groups with the same name too, one bigger than the other? I am due in on Monday for suture replacing and examination under general anaesthetic.How long have you been waiting for your surgery date?

  52. 55 Dewlilly October 27, 2013 at 12:43 pm

    My drainage was done in May and hadnt seen the GI doc in July so really only been waiting since july so not too bad i think … With the group its closed and no can see what you post or say in there except people in the group .. people will see you are a member to the group but only the people in the group will see a post if you make one. Hope Monday goes well for you keep me updated 🙂

  53. 56 Curious October 30, 2013 at 8:17 am

    I hope someone can answer whole hearted for me. I know it’s not exactly a very bright question, and I really hope no one takes offense to this. I have a fistula and it will be removed soon, but as many guys know, after a successful orgasm, one tends to clench the butt muscles. Will this area be painful after the surgery? And how soon will it take me to have sex again?

  54. 57 Lesley Nuttall October 31, 2013 at 9:03 pm

    Hi, had my second surgery Monday 28th October 2013, it was a partial lay open again and had the suture replaced. Very sore at the moment but keeping topped up with the painkillers. Going for dressing changes daily. Very tired this week, think the pain and discomfort makes that worse.

  55. 58 Lesley Nuttall October 31, 2013 at 9:05 pm

    Oh and would like to comment about the being able to have sex bit (presume you are a man?) it will depend on how you heal etc and what exactly you end up having done.

  56. 59 Anonymous November 16, 2013 at 1:38 pm

    thanks for sharing your experience, It really helps, going in for surgery in about two days time, I had a abcess and I left it for the longest time, the pain got so bad I could barely sit, difficult considering I enjoy playing poker and work at a desk most of the time.

    Living with fistula for about a year waiting for a surgery date and about to have it two days frm now, a little nervous but, things could always be worse.

    Fingers crossed the surgery will go well and not end in incontince.

  57. 60 Lesley Nuttall November 17, 2013 at 9:09 pm

    Good luck, hope it goes well.

  58. 61 Anonymous November 19, 2013 at 12:27 pm

    Hi! I also have anal fistula i have this for 7 years now, started as an abscess in 2004, i went in for incision and drainage, after a few months it turned into a fistula had a lay open surgery in 2005 but fistula recurred, so painful so i had another surgery in 2006 my doctor wanted to place a seton to drain but when he saw how it was he opted to do a sphincterotomy instead. Since then my fistula has become manageable, no it is not gone, and i think it will never be because i still go for routine check ups and they do not want to do surgery on me anymore. I have a pinhole wound which draws out blood and pus, no bad smell and very little discharge, this pinhole sometimes closes but then reopens and discharge. But that is just how it is now. Anyone here have the same experience?

    @ lesley i guess it will take time for it to heal, it will get better, i used to suffer every 3 months getting a big abscess and lots of discharge but as the the years passed ot became better. I have less sick days now and i do not take antibiotics anymore. Took me at least 4 years before i felt better. So just set your expectations that the wound will not close as fast as we want it to, i have mine for 7 years now and it just got smaller and much bearable

  59. 62 Lesley Nuttall November 19, 2013 at 8:15 pm

    Wow that is a long time! My heart sinks to be honest when I read the stories of how long it has taken for these to heal. I guess I have to deal with it and just see how it goes with time.

  60. 63 CJ Reyes November 20, 2013 at 5:36 am

    Hi! Heres my experience with anal fistula.
    It all started as an anal abscess between my anus and testicles October 2005. November it became a painful lump and then December it erupted and became an anal fistula. Pus and blood would come out everyday from the hole. Its not painful but irritating since pus and blood stains my pants always. I did not undergo any surgery as to fear of incontinence. So I just lived with it. Then came October 2008 when I just noticed that the wound/hole just healed by itself. After more than 2 years with it, it just closed and healed by itself with no change in diet. Life was good. Until last week November 13, 2013. I felt a very painful lump in the same area where my previous fistula were. 3 days later it erupted and voila! a fistula tract again was formed. So after more than 5 years without it I thought it would never come back. I guess its still there all along I just cant feel it because there’s no pain from it for more than 5 years. Im hoping that it would heal again by itself in the near future as I’m afraid of surgery. Just sharing my anal fistula story. Thanks

  61. 64 Dewlilly November 22, 2013 at 12:18 am

    HI CJ … amazing that you went that long with no fistula and then to have it reappear… do you think you will get it treated this time or see if it will do the same again… have you ever thought about a seton .. i dont think there is nmuch of a risk of incontinence as there is no cutting of anything. also just a tip i use pads or pantie liners to soak up my leakage from my fistula .. not sure if you are open to that idea being a man but it would help with the leakage. I take the paper thin pads and cut them in half and where my leakage is … mine leaks daily but i do have days where the pain is unbearable when its not leaking cuz it builds up and then breaks. hope all goes well for you.

  62. 65 chuck November 23, 2013 at 12:45 pm

    Hi CJ,

    I would recommend you do the surgery. The fistula track can grow and spread to more parts of your body. Not a good thing. Don’t be discouraged, if you get a colo recto surgeon that knows what they are doing they won’t allow a surgery to get to the point of making you incontinent. Just make sure it’s a proctologist type not a general surgeon. The times when (on this site) I hear people w/ trouble from doctors, it’s always when they go to one that tries to help but isn’t in the right field and they don’t know what they are doing.

    Not to panic you, but you should go to the (correct) doctor before it gets worse. To help ease your mind, I went 8 years w/ my fistula before going thru the surgery. I originally went to 2 doctor’s that didn’t know how to fix it ( they were a general practitioner and a general surgeon) and got discouraged by their inability to help me so I gave up. I was lucky though as the hole where puss came out never sealed up for many years ( keeping me pain free w/ just a small amount of puss leaking each day and rarely some blood) until once finally 8 years later it sealed up and got painful and swollen so I decided to try w/ another doctor again.

    The first doctor couldn’t help and didn’t know what it was. He referred me to a general surgeon who then referred me to a proctologist. Finally a doctor that could help me. It’s very important to get the right doctor from the right field so you don’t get messed up or go thru unnecessary surgeries and expenses. I’m in Panama and they don’t have the title colorectal surgeon, they just have ” proctologos” which is spanish for ” proctologists”. Same thing basically.

    One other thing, for everyone here who is dealing w/ the surgery as a tip of advice. When you change the packing make sure to moisten the gauze first w/ plenty of water and you can just squat and let the gauze fall out. I tried removing it by hand and bad idea, I had to go to the hospital to stop the bleeding. Mistake that I could have avoided but didn’t know. Also, my doctor never told me the proper way to pack the wound and I would just cover it, but he wanted me to put the gauze inside of the wound like to fill the hole I have there now. If you never did this before and not sure, ask your doctor to explain how to pack it right and make sure not to remove it dried up as it’ll rip open a scab and bleed bad.

    I’m now about 4 weeks in and in the 4th week the healing is speeding up much faster than before. I go back to work in two days, this monday. I can’t wait until I can bike again and do all the things I use to do. I’m hoping this will be my first and only surgery for this, as the doctor said he removed it all.

    good luck to everyone here!

  63. 66 Dewlilly November 23, 2013 at 5:52 pm

    hi chuck… glad things are going well for you and hope they continue to do so … i am headed for surgery Dec 10 but wont know til i wake up if a seton has been placed or a fistulotmy has been done. by the sounds of yours you had a fistulotmy done?? may i ask if you have crhons or colitis .. i dont think i do they will check once i go in for surgery … mine started with a pernianal abscess … how were your bowel movements? sorry if i ask too many questions just tryting to gather all the info and advice i can .. this is not something thats readily available anywhere … thanks for your time. 🙂

  64. 67 igrik November 24, 2013 at 8:07 am

    There is certain discussion on-going regarding fistula’s and setons on anal fissure support forum. I didn’t suffer it my self, but just would like to express my frustration on terrible condition I suffered for already 8 months, after hemmie excision. Tremendous help and support I found on board http://anal-fissure.org

    I have shared my story there

  65. 68 harry canary January 26, 2014 at 4:24 am

    i just had one and am laying in bed recovering right now. your story was exactly!!!!!!!!!!!!! like mine. including gas going up in it and the amour of pus i drained daily etc. they suck. but as you said if a person thinks they might have an anal abcess go to the docs. fistulas can’t heal themselves, trust me i waited from august till january and it just hurt the whole time. go get kit taken care of.

  66. 69 WithXtraCeej (@xtraceej) February 2, 2014 at 6:47 am

    OMG THANK YOU INTERNET!

    I just had my surgery and was going insane with all these unanswered questions, but this blog and the comments have been a thousand times helpful.

    Espcially thank you Chuck, as my story was similar to yours.

    I am 25 and I have had my fistula or what started out as a abcess since junior year in college. At first i thought it was an STD due to the area and the fact that i was in college but the college doctor told me it was an abcess. I mistakenly thought he said a cyst for years and just lived with it. I thought it was something i would always have. It went through the similar symptoms as it grew into a full fistula: bleeding, puss, occasional swelling. When it was bad, it was bad, but for the most part I just lived with it.

    Then 2 years ago i was in a relationship and my bf’s mom was a nurse. He insist i get it checked out and I reluctantly agreed. That’s when it was properly diagnosed and I was sent to a specialist. I put the surgery off for another year (Yes i procrastinated, I’m 25 what do you want from me!), but decided this year I would take action. I saw a new specialist and they said the same thing, they would have to do surgery and possible leave it open to let it drain. I also went through a MRI so they could see how deep it went, then colonoscopy because they wanted to insure that it wasn’t an inflammation in my intestines causing it.

    2 days ago I had the surgery. Honestly the prep wasn’t that bad, nor was the surgery. The biggest hassles has been the aftermath. My doctor, although great, also didn’t really give me great post-op instructions and the nurses just assumed I knew. The first time i removed the surgical gauze i thought i had ripped my stitches. I freaked out and called my doctor and that’s when he explained they had to leave it open so it would heal.

    The past two days have been a trial, I also am supposed to go overseas in the next week so hopefully I have some kind of healing by then. I had no idea the recovery process was a 3 week minimal or else I would have waited until after my trip. Anyways, back to the post op. I have been taking the recommended baths every 6-8 hrs. It works wonders and you feel better knowing it’s clean. The percocet they have me on drains me so I have been sleeping a lot, but I guess that is good. I spent my first night sleeping on my stomach, but I get a better night’s rest if i sleep on my side. Chuck the tip about soaking the gauze before removal will be very helpful. I’ve been slowing removing it dry and it’s very painful.

    My contribution, if any, is just to show that I too lived with it for a while and upon having the surgery was unsure if it was worth the hassle. This blog has reassured me it will be. Look at the big picture and note that 3 weeks of discomfort is better than a lifetime of sporadic swelling and puss. I will keep everyone posted on my update and let you know how my trip to Tel Aviv goes as it will be mid 3weeks. I also want to note that I had my first bowel movement today. I could always urinate but was scared to go to the bathroom as the area was so tender and bled. I had nothing but soup and pudding the last 3 days to try and delay having to stress that area. It took a moment and I wouldn’t recommend pushing hard, but being able to go is also a huge relief. You don’t realize how precious being able to poop at will is until you can’t. Urination is easy, although it is day 3 and the muscles for pushing that last little bit of urine out aren’t exactly thriving. Here’s hoping that also improves as it all heals.

    I do have one question if any guy can help me out. How soon after can you start..performing… again? I am able to rise to the occasion, but am afraid to … finish, let alone perform any time soon. Anyone have advice?

    Thank you all, it’s been a great help to read all your stories.

  67. 70 Anonymous February 10, 2014 at 1:35 am

    Hello!
    I just had a fistulotomy 3 days ago. I’ve had it after giving birth to my son, i gave birth in december. I had a 3rd degree laceration, stitched me up. About 2-3 weeks postpartum formed an abscess and turned into a fistula. I’ve been reading alot of reoccurences and im really scared. If a fistula healed completely from inside out, how is it likely that it’s not going to come back. It’s a bit depressing because im a new mom and im tired physically and emotionally thinking about this.
    Also i dont have to do daily dressing changes or pack the dressing. Just leave it open…doing sitz bath at least 4x/day with epson salt.

  68. 71 Ayurvedic treatment for fistula in ano February 10, 2014 at 9:19 am

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  69. 72 Lesley Nuttall February 16, 2014 at 8:24 pm

    Hi, everyone. I have a fistula and going to have my third surgery tomorrow. I was told that the track was quite long and that they are getting rid of a bit letting that heal getting rid of the next bit and so on. I also have a seton drainage suture that I have had in from my first surgery 5 months ago. I am so hoping that this is my last surgery 😦

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  74. 77 karan May 12, 2014 at 2:26 am

    Did u feel like having blleding and pus even after sugery. Its been 8days i got my fistulas operated but every time i go to washroom my packing is wet with blood nd yeellow like stuff. Did u experienced something like dis please reply i m worried

  75. 78 Lesley Nuttall May 12, 2014 at 6:32 pm

    Hi, did you have a seton suture? a lay open wound? I have had a seton suture and lay open wound, it’s normal because the seton suture is there so that all this can drain away. My dressings never lasted a full day I ended up just putting gauze there and change is when I go to the loo.

  76. 79 Lesley Nuttall May 12, 2014 at 6:36 pm

    I have had my fourth surgery today, again a lay open wound and seton suture. The consultant was going to see if he could put in a plug but he found a cavity and it had to be opened up again. Long haul. *Sigh*

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  79. 82 Anonymous July 6, 2014 at 12:51 am

    http://www.naitcm.com/Home.php

    I know your pain. I have suffered from a complex peri anal fistula since 2007. Too complex for surgery. I was on and off antibiotics for years. I tried holistic doctors naturopaths, energy healers, yoou name it and I have tried it. Yet the fistula channels only increased. I had 4 holes that I know of. There was pus, blood and feces coming from all of them. I’d pad myself up every day and go to work hoping that I wouldn’t smell. In Dec 2013 I developed a deep abscess with another fistula channeling into my pelvis. While I was waiting for specialist appointments, I found a doctor of Tradiitonal Chinese Medicine who treats complex fistulas (fissures, hemorrhoids, etc). She is located just outside Toronto in Ontario Canada. Her name is Dr Annie Gong and her website is above. I went through 4 months of treatment with her and I am completely healed. No more padding, no discharge, no pain – I can wear white undies! Dr Annie has given me my life back. It is a miracle. Please contact her clinic (website above). Good luck. Jill

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  81. 84 fu time mommy July 31, 2014 at 12:17 am

    Hi I’m a.little new to all of this

    I had an abcess after I had my first child it was surgically drained, I just didn’t look after it, I ended up at the specialist who said I’d have to have another examination under gen anesthetic, turns out something fistula was created and I had Seaton inserted, the Dr was so vague and I’m unaware of what’s happening but he’s said he’s going to.call me back in 3 months and see if fistula needs removed, I just east to recover fast as I have a baby, anyone have pointers, I was only prescribed painkillers no antibiotics and nothing was said about packing to me or any dressings, I find the Seaton so uncomfortable, it’s been a.week and it’s still releasing lush and I get alot of pain travelling around the area from time to time, I can’t get hold of the specialist, does anyone have any pointers please, ps I’m taking hot baths every second day and try to keep it as clean as possible after any bowel movement.

    Is there any way I.could prevent further tracks being formed, all help would be much appreciated

    Regards
    Han

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  83. 86 Darrin Rhone August 20, 2014 at 2:36 am

    Dude this was a great read, Im Scottish living in Japan. Like you I have been suffering over 1 year. I eventually went to doctor and diagnosis was fistula. I have since had a tube inserted into the small hole next to my asshole to drain the poison. Then I must go for full surgery 2 weeks later. Everybody like the guy says, go see a doctor, dont wait dont worry embaresesment. I have had kidney stones 2 times and that was painful. But this is more, the infection has spread to my balls which are like tennis balls now. But Im half way there, one last surgery then recovery. Thanks Han this was helpful 😉

  84. 87 Kari August 28, 2014 at 6:05 pm

    Thanks for sharing your experience, I’ve had a miserable bout with an abscess and fistula for the past 7 months.. About two weeks ago I had surgery for drainage and a seton placed. Sort of nervous about the seton bc I’m not sure how long it stays.. I’ve also noticed a couple of hard painless lumps a few inches away from seton.. 😦 I go on Friday for a check up.. Maybe I’ll get more information.

  85. 88 Top school September 7, 2014 at 11:05 am

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  86. 89 Anonymous September 7, 2014 at 5:00 pm

    You are an amazing writer, I am sorry for your experience but it was very entertaining reading your story:)

  87. 90 James September 17, 2014 at 8:49 pm

    Had this problem a little over 30 yrs. ago when I was in my early 20’s. Since then, I have had the occasional bout with hemorrhoids, but no reoccurrence of the fistula anywhere – thank God. I can’t remember every little detail since it was so long ago, but I remember the intense pain after I went to the hospital the first time to get it checked out. The on-call doctor was extremely aggressive when he went inside with his finger to “feel around”. I could barely walk after the examination and I remember my mom picking me up at the entrance to the hospital when it was done. I couldn’t sit normally in the car: I had to lay on my back in the back seat with my feet pushing against the headliner. it was some of the most intense pain I have ever felt, emanating from my butthole throughout my whole being. A vicodin would have been nice if I knew what those were back then. I have a bulging disc in my lower back and it hurts horribly as well, but this was an altogether debilitating pain. They are both very bad, but there was no managing this pain no matter what I did.

    Anyway, the thing that got me to go to the doctor was the lump near my butthole that was painful to the touch, but not yet mind-numbingly painful. I just knew for a 21 or so year old, this was not right. If I remember correctly, the exam doctor said that eventually the fistula would burst (like a pimple) and start to drain and, boy, was he right! That night after the exam, in my sleep it happened and I woke up to underwear filled with pus. A first I thought I had ejaculated myself, but then it dawned on me what it was. With that pressure gone, the pain absolutely went away. But I still had to see a doctor to open up the hole with a scalpel to allow complete drainage. I wasn’t out of the woods yet, unfortunately. I went to see this guy and he had me on all fours on the table while he cut me open with no local anesthetic – nothing. Put a Band-Aid on it and said see ya later. The lady at the check-out desk asked if I had someone to drive me home since I looked white as a sheet. I said no I didn’t and just got the hell out of there.

  88. 91 Mollie October 2, 2014 at 10:04 pm

    This is my first time go to see at here and i am actually
    happy to read everthing at alone place.

  89. 92 Scott October 9, 2014 at 6:30 pm

    Great blog! I recently had a large perianal abscess drained by the local proctologist. How do I prevent this from turning into the dreaded fistula?

  90. 93 Isaac October 26, 2014 at 10:14 am

    I had an abscess come up next to my asshole around 5 weeks ago. Thought it was an external hemorrhoid untill it burst and started draining regularly. Though the entire time before it burst was a living hell for me. Couldn’t walk, couldn’t shit, had to turn down invitations to hang out with friends and family. It was completely ruling my life. Though after it burst it was no longer hurting me but still had problems using the bathroom. I scheduled an appointment with a colon-rectal doctor who told me a fistula had developed and it needed to be removed as soon as possible. I had the surgery yesterday (fistulotomy) and am in no pain. I believe since I saw the CR doctor so quickly after developing the fistula that the fistula was superficial and the surgery was minimal. I have looked at the cut and it is nothing like some of these horrendous pictures I have seen online, some having HUGE incisions. I am so happy to have found a doctor who knew exactly how to treat this. I am reading stories online of general doctors simply draining or tieing fistula so they drain. This isn’t correct, they must be removed asap! The sooner the better. Do not wait. Do not be in denial. Trust me.

  91. 94 Julio January 6, 2015 at 4:13 pm

    Thank you, I have surgery scheduled for Friday, I’m scared shitless, literally, thanks to your blog, im happy, yet not so happy with the picture

  92. 95 pain-in-the-A March 2, 2015 at 8:58 pm

    I had it since birth. 1st operation was when I was a baby. During my elementary days there were times when I couldn’t even walk because of the pain. The 2nd operation was when I was 9 but just like the 1st one it re-occured. The abscess is still there but it isn’t as painful anymore unless I eat a lot of spicy food or have diarrhea. I am now 32 and living a normal life. I run, I hike, play football (soccer), ride a motorcycle. However, i avoid riding horses or bicycles.

  93. 96 karthik244 September 8, 2015 at 4:53 pm

    Folks, My high-anal fistula is cured completely. I have documented my story in my blog.

    https://fistulapatient2patient.wordpress.com/

  94. 97 ta September 28, 2015 at 9:50 pm

    Hey people, I am a gay guy and I was told by my doctor that I need to go under surgery for fistula prianal, and I am worried about two things:

    1- If there will be permanent visible scars after the surgery

    2- if I will be able to receive anal sex after 6 months or so from the surgery day?

    I know this might sound non sense to some of you. but it really worries me and i cant talk to anyone about it

    Please anyone ?

  95. 98 Sc November 8, 2015 at 6:26 am

    Yes while reading this I actually got angry and wanted to scream at you …. What a fucking idiot. Had my first fissure and went to the dr the next day. A real man sucks it up and isn’t scared to have a dr finger his ass 🙂

  96. 99 Analisa April 10, 2016 at 7:32 pm

    Wow, what a story! I am going through a similar ordeal right now. Started with what i thought were hemoirroids, but it was something more as i had to take myself to the ER one night while on vacation and in incredible pain (hyoerventilating, crying and couldn’t sit). I waited six hours like thatvto be seen. Not knowing quite sure what was going on :-/ operated on that night, then again after five painful days on the abscess that was created and now six weeks later apparently i have a fistula. There will be a procedure for that too soon, although my dr said it woukd be best to wait as the fistula will be full-matured. Wondering about how long i will need to wait. This is really putting a major wrinkle in my life and our family. Would love to talk to you about this if u have the time. Lmk. Thx!!

  97. 100 Scott April 18, 2016 at 5:40 pm

    I had the same thing. Fissure then abscess then fistula but I did not wait. I went to the dr immediately at every stage which is important so if you have pains down there and your a man) then man up and go to a dr. I had a fistulotomy last week and am on day 5. I went to the gym to run the next day on elipticle which the dr said was fine and can help with healing. I eat a protein shake with LOTS of fiber to both help with healing and keep bowel movements soft. I also use medical grade honey (yes there is a thing) it’s called manuka honey. Processed honey will not work but raw unfiltered honey is amazing on open wounds and will help heal 50% faster. I also take large doses of arginine before bed along with a zink suppliment(ZMA). I also take at least 3 baths a day with sitz salt which is basically magnesium. There is some minor drainage but it is healing fast. I was off painkillers after 3 days. I am not sure why people are so scared of this operation. If you wait, it will grow until you have to have much more serious surgery that could take a year to heal. The earlier you treat this the less issues you are going to have. I see some people talking about taking weeks off work which is not necessary but if you can take a week off it helps. It is difficult to keep clean without a shower or bath after bowel movements.

  98. 101 scott April 18, 2016 at 6:01 pm

    In addition to my last comment and for the poster above, I am gay and yes there will be a scar. Medical grade honey reduces the scar and helps heal faster. Probably no sex for a month unless you wait and the problem grows. If it moves into muscle it could take a year to heal.

  99. 102 Yogesh April 18, 2016 at 7:01 pm

    Hi,

    Thanks for sharing the info on your experience of fistulectomy. I started browsing the articles about fistula now after 6 days of my fistulectomy surgery as I had pain after the bowel movement. My experience is almost similar and could compare every bit of your experience with mine as even I’m doing the same shitty things to avoid doc visit.

    Now after 6 days of surgery, I m having pain every time after the bowel movement and had to take the head of the shower and so sprinkle hot water for some time to get relieved. Is it common to have this pain after BM or abnormal. I don’t see any puss discharge or haven’t noticed it yet as I don’t wear sanitary pads after the surgery or even before. I’m a guy of 30 actually.. Please help me in understanding the normal happening after the surgery and am passing bowels 3 times a day automatically after the surgery. Is it common again. How long will it take to get the pain reduced and to get the wound healed.

    Please reply and help.

  100. 103 Zaid May 1, 2016 at 2:57 pm

    Hey is it painfull ???? the surgery process? and the dressing?? am going to have fistulectomy in 5 days please tell me 😦

  101. 104 Anonymous May 1, 2016 at 3:32 pm

    I had a pretty bad one, in that mine crossed alot of muscle wall and couldn’t be done in one go. I had 5 ops in one year. It’s pretty scary but something that needed to be done. It was not agonisingly painful, but really sore, uncomfortable. Going for the dressings changed – embarassing but not as painful as I thought unless you got a nurse who didn’t have a clue with the packing. Depends everyone will have different stories to tell because every fistula is not the same.

  102. 105 Sc May 1, 2016 at 4:10 pm

    It is painful but I had painkillers. I started breaking them in half after 3 days and was done taking them after 5. I usually just took them before bowel movements but that pain was gone in a week. I am on day 14 and almost 98% healed but I did not wait to have a dr look at this so it did not cross muscle. I did have pussy discharge for 10 days which was normal.

    Research manuka honey!!! Was amazing on the wound although did burn the first few days but healed this very quickly and soothed the wound. A little messy though. If the honey is not raw it will only hinder healing but raw manuka honey will make this so much better. You may want to wait a few days before the honey as again it can burn!

    Sitz baths are key to the healing process. If you to not have a bath tub you can buy one for the toilet but you must soak this to keep it clean. A bath is best because it will improve circulation and speed up healing.

    Research glutamine, zma and arginine. I took glutamine and arganine 2x a day in powder form with juice and zink at bed time. Drastically improves healing time. Glutamine and zinc are needed for wound healing and arganine improves blood flow. I took 4 baths a day the first week at around 20m each.

  103. 106 Anonymous May 1, 2016 at 4:53 pm

    I didn’t wait to go see a doctor either but it was there, it was deep and over the muscle wall.

  104. 107 Gabe July 10, 2016 at 11:31 am

    Hi All,

    I would like to let you guys know how thankful I have found this site. I would like to share my story… I was dealing with pain in my ass for a week, and believed it was caused by constipation that led to an anal fissure and caused Perianal Abscess. I was initially given medication for constipation, and had Dulcolax suppository and orally. Then next day, I was at my worse. Sitting was impossible and went to a point that I was just in bed crying every night how painful it was and could only talk and have a straight mind if I would take Arcoxia pain killer. Since I was on Dulcolax as the doctor advised, I was pooping a lot, but was very very painful. First thought as internal haemorrhoids, medication for it like cream didn’t work. So I manned up and had my ass checked, and they found that my right cheeks close to my asshole was very stiff and said there is abscess in it. I was scared to death because the doctor said I had to go thru surgery to have them cut a small opening in my right cheek and place a little pipe kind of material for it not to close and drain the abscess. I was in the hospital for a week as they had me on IV antibiotics. Everyday the nurse would have to replace the gauze if I had to poop or if I felt it was too soggy. Gradually, the abscess drain lessened. The doctor pulled the pipe, told me that its time to go home and continue oral antibiotics.

    The Doctor said that through the surgery, he didn’t find any openings leading to my right cheeks. I don’t know how he knew that, but he did say it is still possible to get Fistula. We just have to wait. I asked if it can be avoided and he said no, there’s really 50% chances.

    What I wanted to know is, is it true that I still have a chance to not get Fistula? Or do I just get my self ready for the worst?

    I am just recovering from my surgery. And I’m hoping to be back at work next week, is there anything to avoid or do to make sure that this doesn’t lead to Fistula?

  105. 108 Charlie Mc farland July 12, 2016 at 6:43 pm

    I had pain last august went to see my doctor told him I was sore and had swelling around my anus he gave me cream the wanker so I left it untill one day about a month later it burst at work I was sweating and felt very sick I went straight to health centre after work and was sent straight to hospital that night they operated the next day the nurse took out bandages sorest thing I’ve ever had next 8 weeks I had to get wound packed I never missed a day thought it was healing good salt baths after bowel moment and manuka honey one day the nurse waz packing and she told me it was taking a lot more packing said it wasn’t right so had to wait to see consultant which took for ever had MRI which showed fistula since then I’ve had 3 more ops and right now I’m in the bath very sore and had diahira al day I haven’t worked since September last year and I’m going for another op on 8 august its a fucking nightmare and I have sympathy for anyone who suffers this their is days ud think ud be better dead I never felt like this before I loved working and I’m a plasterer by trade I also loved weightlifting and can’t do fuk all fuk this thing in my ass waz told it had to be done slowly I’ve had a secton ring put in and thiers a lump behind this which is very sore and swells hope they get it out this time

  106. 109 Ravi December 19, 2016 at 9:00 am

    Thanks for sharing your experience so elaborately.
    It was so nice reading it and felt the same while reading it pain,depression and finally happiness and smile.
    You could write a good novel or book.🙂

    How are now and are you still facing any problem.

  107. 110 Anonymous December 31, 2016 at 10:55 am

    Thanks for your story, you made me laugh. I’m having the surgery in 2 weeks. I’m nervous but MD doesn’t think mine is that deep, he told me about a seton drain ect. If it’s too far along they can’t cut the spinkter muscle too much or you will end up with incontinence. That part scares me the most. He’s a specialist so hopefully he will do a good job. Wish me luck.

  108. 111 Graham January 2, 2017 at 9:58 pm

    Wow! Thank you for sharing with your good information! I had it in 2007 and now it came back again! Very painful! I am not the only one!

  109. 112 Gabe January 4, 2017 at 2:49 am

    Have been in the hospital for 2 weeks since I posted my message about. Since then I have been going on with life. Doctor says, it is okay for now, but we won’t know if it will come back. Just like others here I can see that it took several years and didn’t expect it to come back. Any ideas how to prevent it?

  110. 113 Sc January 4, 2017 at 5:09 am

    No way to prevent it … after surgery mine healed in 4- 6 weeks with no seton … your healing time may vary … its been a year and no issues.

  111. 114 Neo January 6, 2017 at 3:33 pm

    How long did it took for your wound to heal completely?

  112. 115 Sc January 6, 2017 at 5:12 pm

    4 weeks to completely close … the first 3 weeks were slow and then suddenly it closed quickly in a week. They give you lots of creams and ointments containing cortisone which I stopped using after a week and can slow healing. I actually used Minuka honey after 2 weeks to speed healing. Quite messy and can burn for a minute but read about it if you want to speed up healing. It is actually used in emergency rooms for wounds. Use at your own risk and wait until you have started healing or it will burn too much. Only unfiltered unprocessed honey can be used if you want to speed healing. Again do your own research before attempting. Hopefully you have a bath. I lived in my bath tub for weeks. I took 5 or 6 a day at least at about 20m sittings. Don’t sit too long. Great for after you poop 🙂 I put a tiny amount of iodine in the water but in reality you do not want to use iodine on your wound … for some reason it can slow healing

  113. 116 Sc January 6, 2017 at 5:20 pm

    I should add 2 full months before i could no longer tell I had surgery … there was very slight tenderness over the next 3rd month but rarely noticed. I was at the gym the day after I had surgery and did the elipticle 6x a week but this is with no seton. I used the month to get in shape as I could work from home.

  114. 117 Anon January 6, 2017 at 9:23 pm

    Thanks for publishing your experience.
    I’m very embarrassed about my fistula. The bf thinks it’s cool, but fistulas are not sexy! You’ve given hope.😘

  115. 118 Anonymous April 24, 2017 at 11:52 am

    Hii how much yime it took for you to get completly healed

  116. 119 Nikhil shaw June 20, 2017 at 11:02 pm

    Hello guys. It was January of 2016 when I found out a small white spot near my anus. At first, I thought it to be some infection and will go. Fast forwading 6 months, I noticed pus coming out from it. It was worse as I was my college is in different city away from my home. In the sem break when I came back to my hometown, I was examined by a general physician who immediately told me this was a fistula and surgery was my only option. On his request, I did a test which basically showed how deep my fistula was. It was pretty deep:(.
    I was reluctant to do the surgery as I have never had it before. So I tried homeopathy (although I didn’t belive it will work). Although the duration of pus coming out increased from one to two weeks, the medicine didn’t do anything else. There was also blood now and I was worried if I should do the operation.
    Currently its been 5 days since the operation. The doctor did a fistulotomy. Because of the delay, the tract got branched out ( one stem and a small branch). The surgery was nothing. Local anesthesia worked lovely. Long term pain reliever helped me sleep the day I had tge surgery. ( Surgery was in evening). Lying in my bed and saying to myself this was nothing was my worst judgment. The real pain occurred in the first dressing of wound. Even after the sitz bath, the gauge inside the wound hurted like hell as the nurse put it out. It felt likr someone was pulling out my nerves near the scotrum.I was on verge of crying as I screamed through the procedure. He put everything out , cleaned it ( omg, that thing killed me) and put the gauge inside soaked in betadine solution. He put a pad over it so the pressure keeps the gauge from falling. I couldn’t have had a peaceful mind that day thinking abkut that this is gonna happen again the very next day.Second day, same procedure. I do not wish such pain on greatest of my enemies, it was so bad. Now it has been 5 days after surgery. Blood discharge is low although pus is there in gauge. I have been taking sitz bath with betadine solution 2 times a day (one should do 3 times) . My father helps me redress the wound a bitbut doesn’t pull out the gauge. Everyday nurse from hospital comes to re-dress the wound completely.Day by ay the pain during the process is reducing. I have college in 15 days. Already planned to take leave fr first 10 days, I hope by that time it will heal and I will be able to walk like a human again unlike zombie.
    Here is my advice:
    1. Visit your doctor. I am 19 and still had no shame as I knew it was for the best. The doctor are trained in medical field and they know way better than you. You must not let the tract branch and grow, it will only make worse. More pus, more flesh cutting during surgery. One must not ignore this after the check up you can decide if you want a surgery or not.

    2. Surgery is the best option available to you. I have read almost all internet, homeopathy and Ayurveda don’t have Statistical data so can’t say how much they work. ( In my case it didn’t). Chances of recurrence is quite low (2-15℅).

    3. Healing is most important part. Do your sitz bath properly and let a trained nurse do the dressing for you. The wound needs to heal from inside out. That’s why they stuff the gauge inside so that your skin doesn’t join first. This way it ensures that there is no cavity behind and it heals properly. Get someone trained do this, atleast for few weeks. You don’t want to endure the pain again!

    4. Be confident, there will be pain but ther is light at the end of tunnel. People have worse diseases, compared to that, its a low level surgery.

    Good luck and believe me , it will pass.


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