Anal Abscess Question & Help

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Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 83
   Posted 1/27/2010 7:57 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi all -
I've been having some issues on and off for the past year, and when I finally thought I was getting over the hump, BAM, it creeps back up in a most unwelcome way.
My doctors have discovered that I have at least three active fistulas (cutaneous, rectal, and RV); they are partially draining, but clearly not enough as they have formed an anal abscess. I was all set to begin my Humira last week, but had to put that on hold due to high WBC indicating an infection (thus how the abscess was discovered).
For background, I have a lot of peri-anal issues (anal fissure last year, multiple skin tags, lots of rectal inflammation, and now the fissures). Now, as a next step, my GI, in conjunction with a colo-rectal surgeon I saw for a consult, are recommending a temporary ileostomy to allow the rectal region to completely heal.
I have been very lucky in not needing any surgeries related to CD during this time, so the thought of having this major surgery is freaking me out. Has anyone else experienced this and taken it as a next step?
I am even more upset because I am getting married in September and I don't know how this will affect that. But at the same time I don't want to continue to be on prednisone and be sick all the time. I have been on prednisone since Feb. 2009 and am still on a dose of 30 mg a day, and I've gained 25 pounds since starting on it too. I hate that drug!
Here are some of my recent blood stats - all indicators of an infection (the abscess):
WBC - 14.2 (high)
Neotruphils - 12794 /90% (high)
Lymphocytes - 824 (low)
Any similar experiences that can be shared would be much appreciated.
**32 year old female; Diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in 2001; diagnosis changed to Crohn's disease in 2009
**Asacol (4000 mg daily), 6-MP (100 mg daily), Prednisone (30mg daily...for now), Nexium (40 mg daily), Flagyl (500 mg daily), Sulfasalazine (1000 mg daily), and getting ready to start Humira
**Thankfully only two major flare-ups...2001 and 2009. Hoping to have another 8 years in between the next one (sadly, I do know there will be a next one).

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 1220
   Posted 1/27/2010 10:07 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Bookgal!

I am so sorry you are having so much trouble!! I am thinking there are a few on this Forum who have faced a decision similar to yours. Hopefully they will chime in. I have heard that temporarily disconnecting things can help in healing, but I have also heard that surgery should be our last option because CD tends to attack the surgery sites.

I suggest you get another opinion from a colorectal surgeon -- preferably one who is an expert in CD and works for a teaching hospital (they are on salary, rather than only getting paid when they do procedures -- so they recommend surgery only when you need it). This is such a big decision I think it is worth a second - or third opinion!!

Let us know which way you decide to go!
Diagnosed with Crohn's in early 2007.  Several peri-rectal abscesses and two fistulae with setons.  Allergic to Remicade and Humira.  Currently on 6MP, and vitamins D and B-12.

Equestrian Mom
Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 3106
   Posted 1/27/2010 11:13 PM (GMT -6)   
bookgal77~sorry to hear you are having THOSE problems...I've been there!

after years of problems, including fistulas, I had complications after a resection and went back into emergency surgery for a temp ileo...not a big deal and had it reversed 3 months later. Felt wonderful during that time and was actually enjoying life without running to the bathroom:)

Not long after the reversal everything was going south and after suffering for a while I ASKED for another ileo (my GI and CR Surgeon are both at a major teaching hospital) and although they thought that was the best decision for me, they let me get to that decision on my own:)

Fast forward 8+ years...I had my 'temp' ileo made permanent. Not everyone does that, but drugs weren't controlling my fistulas anymore and I failed all the others. Again, they let me come to the decision on my own, but that was their collective opinion, before I made the appointment.

Not everyone is the same and some have more complications at the surgical sites than other...I haven't (knock on wood) and I am prepared for the next decision, if needed. Some people do respond well when their rectums are given a break, but meds should always be included, but not necessarily pred.

I'd suggest going to the Ostomies Forum (quick jump) and reading some threads of others who have had to take that route. There is a lot of information there.

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 41
   Posted 1/28/2010 11:00 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Bookgal,
I don't have any insights for you, but will send you healing thoughts.
I've dealt with rectal abscesses and fistulas for the last 4 years, and am hopefully on the mend finally... but I "feel" your pain...
I wouldn't wish this stuff on anyone. They haven't mentioned a temp. ileostomy to me yet...
Hoping you find healing and peace!
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