What is fistula??

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Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 511
   Posted 2/17/2008 8:23 AM (GMT -6)   
Can someone help explain to me what fistula is and how do you know you have it??? 
I've had Crohn's for about 10 years now.  Mine has been in remission and I've been drug
free for several years.  I just had a flare and I'm on Cipro now.  My bum is really bad sore
and I don't know if its just irretated from going so much the past few days. I've been putting
A&D stuff on it and it bruns like crazy.  I'm just wondering if maybe something else isn't going
on down there.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 1010
   Posted 2/17/2008 8:57 AM (GMT -6)   

From what you have written, it doesn't sound llike you have a fistula. Much more likely that the tissues of your anus are just really, really sore from over use. Have you tried topical ointments like anusol or prep H? What about soaking your bum in warm salty water (epsom salts)?

A fistula is a tract or tunnel that connects two things that wouldn't normally be connected that way. It can be a connection between two loops of bowel, between a loop of bowel and the skin or between a loop of bowel and an internal organ, like the bladder.

Often in people with periannal crohn's (where the crohn's is active near the anus) a fistula can form from the rectum through the perianal skin tissue to create openings near the anus, but outside of the bowel itself. Typically they start with an abscess that is very tender and hard to the touch. Often there is fever associated with it. When the abscess breaks, the fistula often leaks feces.

I have not had this kind of fistula, only bowel to bowel, so I suspect there will be others along who can explain it better, but unless there are things going on like i described, I suspect you are dealing with a bum that is just really sore from over use. I really find applications of topical ointments after every trip to the bathroom, along with frequent washing with warm water very helpful in controlling these awful symptoms.

30+ years living with Crohn's.

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 2/17/2008 11:10 AM (GMT -6)   
I think Belleenstein did a great job of describing a fistula to you.  If you feel you have a problem I would like to suggest that you follow up with your GI for a diagnosis.  You will feel better knowing for sure if this is a problem you have or perhaps it is something completely different.
Take care
Kitt, Moderator: Anxiety ~ Panic  ~ Crohn's
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Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 511
   Posted 2/17/2008 11:35 AM (GMT -6)   

Thank you.  I definitely will call my doctor tomorrow.  I just thought I would ask here. I do believe its just a sore tush.

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 421
   Posted 2/18/2008 3:47 PM (GMT -6)   
Im the QUEEN of fistula's! LOL. I've had 2 continuously draining for almost 10 years.  If a medicine is able to "heal" them, I end up with an abcess.  I have found it much easier to just wear a sanitary napkin every day then try to deal with the outcome of "healing" them.  I too have had the sore bum and have found, sitting in a sitz bath or on a heating pad does wonders.  If you have a low grade fever or notice a hard, sore red area near your anus, get yourself to a Dr. ASAP.  Hope this helps!

"The most unfortunate thing that happens to a person who fears failure is that he limits himself by becoming afraid to try anything new."

New Member

Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 2/18/2008 9:55 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi- I just had to have a fistula drained by my anus.  At first I thought it was a hemmroid, and then I finally went to the doctor, they had to lance it, because it was filled with pus.  I just had surgery to have some of my intestines taken out, so while I was under the doctor placed some weird drain in it.  It loops from the fistula through the inside of my butt and out of my anal hole.  If any of that makes sense.  So far I have had the drain for 2 weeks, and stuff is still coming out.  But atleast it doesn't hurt anymore. 
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