what does a fistula feel like/look like?

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EmmyT
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 75
   Posted 2/7/2008 1:54 PM (GMT -7)   
I think I may have a fistula, but don't know what it looks/feels like. Symptoms, etc...

Kittikatt
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2004
Total Posts : 422
   Posted 2/7/2008 3:21 PM (GMT -7)   
Oooh, yes - I'd like to know the answer to this, too....
Diagnosed in October, 2003 at age 31.
36/F/SC
Currently taking Colazal, Nexium, One-A-Day multivitamin
Secondary conditions: mouth ulcers, joint pain, extreme fatigue


justjenjen
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2003
Total Posts : 518
   Posted 2/7/2008 3:27 PM (GMT -7)   
In my experience fistulas do not feel like anything. The abscess one generally gets before a fistula is very painful--you will know something is amiss! As to what a fistula looks like: a hole. Just a hole in skin that leaks. Since it is essentially a tunnel, you just see the end of a tunnel.

mcleaver1969
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2006
Total Posts : 267
   Posted 2/7/2008 3:44 PM (GMT -7)   
Does anyone know symptoms of vaginal fistula? Is a fistula always painful? Just curious...thanks!
"Difficult things take a long time,
impossible things a little longer. " ~Author Unknown
Marci, 38 years young, Rockledge, FL
Dx with Crohn's disease March 2006
Currently on bi-weekly Humira, daily 6mg Entocort, daily 2-3x 5mg hydrocodone (for pain), and daily 75mg Effexor,
plus 2x per day heavy iron supplements for anemia,
calcium supplement, daily multi-vitamin,
 


chroniemomx2
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 2346
   Posted 2/7/2008 5:43 PM (GMT -7)   
Before a fistula breaks through the skin, it hurts...very much!!!   I have had a rvf, I had gas passing through my vagina, and lots of drainage from the vagina.   If you have a bowel to bowel fistula, you might not even know it unless it abscsses.

Helliewellie
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 27
   Posted 2/7/2008 8:54 PM (GMT -7)   
sad  I have just a fistula prob. Didn't even know i had until my bum started leak green ooze.Doc put me on antibiotics then 4 days later after not been able to walk or sit. I went to hospital. I had two MRI scans to see if where the fistula had tracked from- they are very hard to find sometimes- couldn't find my. The surgeon has inserted a drain into the fistula so it can drain and not close up again.
For the last few months I had pain like  - a big stick was being poked up my back passage and terrible lower back pain - like a dragging down pain. Had surgery on Wed 6th Feb and feel heaps better, no more back pain.
I had read the people on 6mp with crohns shouldn't sever badly form fistulas's as the 6mp helps provent them and heal them. I have been on 6mp for 7 months!!!!!!!
40yrs old - cd for 18 years. 3 resections, fissures, dilutions.
have been well for 11 years - just found out active disease in two sections
On 4000mg pentaza daily and have just started 75gm 6-mp per day.


EmmyT
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 75
   Posted 2/8/2008 8:27 AM (GMT -7)   
I know Remicaid can help too. Does it feel like a bump on the outside that oozes puss?

praying4healing
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 737
   Posted 2/8/2008 9:58 AM (GMT -7)   
if u have a bump on the outside its probably an abcessess. and abcessess are usually the end result of a fistula in that the tunnell holds the mucus or infection in it and it drains, once it gets to the skin and there's no where else to go it turns it to something like a boil. it gets bigger until it gets drained. But the pain is not like that of a pimple, neither is the bump, its big and in my case excruciatingly painful!
25 y/o female- crohns disease since 14
Ileostomy pending-very worried
Tried asacol,pentasa,prednisone,remicade,6mp,azasan, no avail
Seatons placed
Worst year ever!

"For God has not given us the spirit of fear....."
Where does mine come from?!


dragonfly137927
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 2527
   Posted 2/8/2008 1:25 PM (GMT -7)   

I had a fistula that was enterocutaneous.  It came through where my insicion was from my past surgeries.  It started feeling like an abscess that I had in the same spot a few months prior.  I was on Entocort and pentasa when the darn thing happened.  I had a piece of suture that was left behind that the doc said would make its way out and it did one day.  The area finally healed and 2 weeks later it seemed to come back.  I called the office and my doc had been on vacation that following week so I was to make an appt with a doc covering the following day since it occured on a Sunday.  Later that day I changed the gauze and there was feces there...I called the office back.  At this point I had been waiting on approval for Humira it came though and did help tremendously I ended up having to increase the humira shots to weekly which helped still but never healed it.  I had surgery for my fistula on January 11th.  Yet again I had complications so now with a wound infection I cannot use HUmira and I am on no other CD meds since none seem to work.  I am fearful that while this thing heals that the CD will flare again I know I have one spot nea the rectum that is still flaring and was in Dec when I had my pre surgical colonoscopy.

I hope for your sake it isnt a fistula but if it is I hope that medicine can help...I tried TPN for it too with no luck...good luck with the CD


Dx with Crohn's 1987, symptoms as early as 1984.
Temp iliostomy February 2007, reversed June 2007, Ovarian cysts, migraines, allergies (incl food allergies) , oral allergy syndrome (diff than true food allergies), Asthma, Gall Bladder removed 1999, Inguenal hernia 1987
 
 
 


EmmyT
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 75
   Posted 2/8/2008 2:04 PM (GMT -7)   
I hope you get better soon! My doc is putting me on Remicaid.

upt0106
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 47
   Posted 2/8/2008 9:00 PM (GMT -7)   
i have a fistula, and echo what others have said regarding that a fistula is not really painful in itself. In fact, what was painful was the abscess which led to the fistula. As an abscess, the puss built and caused a lot of pressure and pain...after it was drained, the path through which it was drained became the fistula...and now allows for drainage from time to time if needed.
Sometimes I think the fistula gets a little inflamed, which causes it not to drain as much, which leads to abscess like pain...
of course, your fistula may be completely different! the joy of Crohn's!
---
-Male, age 31
-Diagnosed with Crohn's 2002 - 5 surgeries for peri-rectal abscess in 2002-2003
-Started Makers Diet 26 Jan 08
-currently on prednisone taper after landing myself in the ER with a partial obstruction


happygirl360
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 31
   Posted 2/8/2008 9:04 PM (GMT -7)   
I have had a bowel-bladder fistula. Very painful passing stool through the urethra.  Took seven hours of surgery to repair. I have had SEVERAL rectal/anal fistulas (sometimes two at a time draining).  Very nasty.  Wore lots of pads on my butt for many years. Finally got Remicade and they closed.
 
Right now I have one just right above the belly button where I had surgery last July.  Feels kind of weird to pass gas and stool from the belly button area.  I never feel the gas bubble until it starts coming out...sometimes it can be funny.  Can't have Remicade to close this one though.  Last infusion I went into anaphylactic shock, so I just have to deal with putting bandages on my gut. 

Curly9878
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 165
   Posted 12/8/2009 8:55 PM (GMT -7)   
Bump
30 years old.
Single, probably always will be...  In fact, I bet I become "the cat lady" of the neighborhood...  Only thing is, I am not a fan of cats.    
Oh and as an added bonus, I am a FAT girl with Crohns...  
I am getting ready for my first resection....   My mom always said my beauty was on the inside...   sooo what does it mean when my insides are a mess???   Thanks mom!  I bet I inhereted Crohns from your side of the family.  
NO GUTS-NO GLORY!!!    So, once I get my guts removed...   My "Glory" days are over....
 
That about sums me up!
 


CROHNSPT1993
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 42
   Posted 2/9/2010 4:10 PM (GMT -7)   
I AM GOING TO ELABORATE A BIT ON MY INTRODUCTION INTO THE FISTULA WORLD. IT STARTED AS A BURNING SENSATION, I MEAN IT BURNED LIKE HELL. I ACTUALLY THOUGHT THE SURGEON HAD SET SOMETHING HOT ON MY SIDE DURING MY ABSCESS CLEAN UP SURGERY. IT FELT LIKE SOMEONE BRANDED ME SO I ICED IT ALOT AND TRIED TO KEEP ALL CLOTHING OFF IT BECAUSE EVEN A T-SHIRT RUBBING ON IT WOULD HURT AND HURT BADLY!! THE NEXT THING I NOTICED WAS MY SKIN IN THAT AREA STARTED TO SWELL TO A CENTER POINT. THEN A BLISTER APPEARED ALL OF A SUDDEN THE BLISTER FILLED WITH YELLOW AND TRANSLUCENT FLUID. IT WAS THE SIZE OF A 50 CENT PIECE. I TOUCHED IT SOFTLY WITH MY FINGER AND THE BLISTER WAS VERY WARM AND THE CONTENTS SWIRLED TOGETHER SO NOW IT WAS MOSTLY YELLOW IN COLOR. THIS BLISTER NEEDED TO BE POPPED BECAUSE IT KEPT GETTING BIGGER AND THE PRESSURE WAS GETTING HIGHER. I DIDNT KNOW THERE WAS A HOLE UNDERNEATH THIS BLISTER FEEDING IT MORE AND MORE FLUID. SO I POKED A HOLE IN IT WITH A LARGE NEEDLED SYRING AND SPLOOSH ALL THE CONTENTS CAME STREAMING OUT. SO MUCH FLUID WAS COMING OUT THAT I JUMPED IN THE SHOWER AND IT JUST POURED OUT, IT WAS STREAMING DOWN MY LEG. IT SEEMED NEVER ENDING. FINALLY IT CALMED DOWN A BIT AND I BANDAGED IT. THIS HAPPENED DECEMBER 21, 2009. I STILL HAVE THE FISTULA THE HOLE IS SMALLER AND THE OUTPUT IS LESS BUT IT CHANGES ALL THE TIME. ONE WEEK THE HOLE IS SMALL THE NEXT ITS BIG. I DONT REALLY UNDERSTAND THIS WHOLE PROCESS SINCE THIS IS THE FIRST ONE IVE HAD. BUT I WILL TELL YOU THIS.....IT IS VERY PAINFUL, EVEN NOW. I HOPE THIS HELPS. I KEPT PHOTOS OF EACH STEP THE FISTULA WENT THROUGH I COULD EMAIL YOU SOME IF YOU LIKE.
 
15. No SHOUTING.  Remember, using ALL CAPITAL LETTERS in posts is considered yelling and rude, plus it is difficult to read. 
 

Post Edited By Moderator (Nanners) : 2/10/2010 9:24:44 AM (GMT-7)


MAG102886
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 674
   Posted 2/9/2010 4:35 PM (GMT -7)   
Mine started as an abscess and then it opened pretty much just like the last poster said. It seemed like it would never stop draining at first, then it finally did, it healed up pretty small like a diameter of a pencil and stopped there. I had to have surgery to repair it.
Dianogsed with Crohns: At 16 years old. 23 years old now.
Surgeries:3 Bowel Resections, Gallbladder Removed, 3 Abscess Cleanings, Fistula Repair
Current Meds: Methorexate, Vitamin B12 (injections), Nexium.
Next Surgery: None.
 

champagnekindofgal
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 221
   Posted 2/9/2010 6:05 PM (GMT -7)   
Can you have an abscess without a fistula? I had exactly what crohnspot1993 without the gushing fluid. I didn't know what it was and went to my GP. I thought it was an infected hair follicle! She was horrified when she looked at the pusy mess and put me on antibiotics and it cleared up. I don't think I ever had a fistula ...????

I started to have the same symptoms during this flare in my perineum area, it raised and then it went down, never breaking the skin.

I had an MRI following and it showed "nothing" according to my GI doc. Two weeks later, a bowel X Ray showed my left side all swollen/black on the Xray. Wouldn't it have shown any scaring from a past fistula?
44-single mom diagnosed with Crohn's 2004 via pill camera    6MP kicked into remission (along with modified diet) so went off in 2006.
 
2009/2010 acute flare and hospitalization - now on Imuran. Currently taking 55 mg prednisone.
Current problem - protruding thrombosed hemorrhoids (external as well as internal).
 
Fibromyaglia; migraines; herniated disks C5,6 and arthritis in neck; asthma; scolisis in back/arthritis.
 
 
 


cronict
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 2/10/2010 10:27 AM (GMT -7)   
This is what took care of my painful fistula:
 
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Post Edited By Moderator (Nanners) : 2/10/2010 9:37:57 AM (GMT-7)


crohnielass
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 1118
   Posted 2/11/2010 8:35 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi, my experience was similar to CROHNSPT1993 a hard lump appeared below my belly button then went to a blister, was painful it then popped and stool started coming out a scary experience.

had to wear a stoma bag on it for a few months till i had surgery. since having it operated on it now is a tiny hole the size of a pin head and only draining a little of fluid not stool. Bev x
Diagnosed with crohns at 13 now 43
Reversal of temp stoma Postponed till ???????
Meds: Iron syrup,Loperimide,Folic acid & Citalopram 60mg (for Anxiety.)


" I may not be there yet, but I'm closer than I was yesterday."


dinkley
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 108
   Posted 7/5/2011 7:21 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi - this is an older discussion, but I'd like to resurrect to see if there have been any new developments with you all, or if anyone new has developed fistula/abscesses and had treatment (or not), and how successful that was for you. I myself had a labial abscess about 6 months ago, which was drained by my surgeon. At this time a fistula was seen on MRI (rectal-perineum), but no action was taken, because - after the draining, no real problems occurred until recently.

about 2 weeks ago I had some SERIOUS pain in the labial area and thought it was another abscess - was ready to go to the doc again to have it drained, but something popped and blood gushed out. I'm imagining that the fistula found its exit, but don't understand this stuff. The discharge might have been through the hole my surgeon had made, but I thought that had closed up. This was about 2 weeks ago, and I still bleed - a lot - through the little hole near the vagina/perineum and maybe from elsewhere, but it sure is hard to tell where this is coming from. The perineal/vaginal area hurts. I'm trying to get in to see my local surgeon just to talk.

I was in a "try not to worry about it maybe it'll resolve itself" mode for quite sometime. Guess I might as well ditch that way of thinking and take some action.

What about you all?

Nanners
Elite Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14994
   Posted 7/5/2011 7:50 AM (GMT -7)   
Dinkley this is a fast moving forum and members come and go. So with this being a really old post, I am pretty sure most of these members are no longer around. In the future please start a new post as folks tend to avoid these older posts. Thank you!
 
Just fyi, only 2 of the members who posted this are around and that is only occasionally.
Gail*Nanners* Co-Moderator for Crohns Disease
Crohn's Disease for over 35 years. Currently on Asacol, Protonix, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain, Zofran, Phenergan, Probiotics, Calcium, Vit D, and Xanax prn. Resections in 2002 & 2005. Also diagnosed w/ Fibromyalgia, Osteoarthritis, & Anxiety. Currently my Crohns is in remission, but my joints are going crazy!
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