Trouble finding fistulas?

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Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 98
   Posted 3/16/2008 3:57 PM (GMT -6)   
I've had 3 abscesses in the past year and my colo-rectal surgeon seems to believe that I do have a fistula, he just can't find it. I've had 3 exams under anesthesia and he can never find one but he insists that it's there. Anybody else had this trouble and what should I do?

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2005
Total Posts : 722
   Posted 3/16/2008 4:10 PM (GMT -6)   

I went for 12 yrs. without Drs. finding my fistulas. My fistulas were found by a combination of MRI and exam under anesthesia. I believe they use peroxide to show the fistula and to see if it branches out...... Can you go to a different surgeon? I have gotten a 2nd opinion (I am seeing a Dr. at Mt. Sinai in NYC) and now I feel as though I am finally on the road to recovery.

It is very frustrating and abscess are the worst. I have had 30+. (Not all of them were surgeries-some just burst through the skin on their own.) At times I felt like I would never recover. I would just be very agressive with the surgeon if you can't see another and ask him/her how you can be expected to live like this.If he /she can't help you, ask if they know of someone who can. That is no quality of life-take it from someone who went through it.

Have you thought of remicade? That's my only other suggestion.....

I really hope you have better luck than I did :-)





37 year old female. Dx'd and undx'd a few times. Was just redx'd again 04/2007.
History of rectal abscesses and fistulas (29 surgeries including abscess I & D, exploratory surgeries, 4 C-ton drains and 1 fistula plug) Have also had several self bursting abscesses.
1st Remicade infusion 6/5/07-still taking it.  Praying I'll get better soon so we can have a baby.
Ginger :)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 2346
   Posted 3/16/2008 9:16 PM (GMT -6)   
I understand your frustration! I have had around 10 abscesses. Does your surgeon shoot the dye in during your examination and then look around on the inside to see if he can see a connection? As far as tests go, the mri is about the best at finding them. But they can be so small that it can be almost impossible to find them at times. Good luck!
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