Help. Had Fistulotomy Nov. 3rd STILL HAVING PROBLEMS

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Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 22
   Posted 5/31/2010 8:37 PM (GMT -6)   
So, anyone who had a fistulotomy still having bloody drainage and pain on occassion?
I dont believe my surgeon did the job he told me was to be done. He wrote down "Fistulotomy" but I think he actually just cleaned out the abcess. The reason I believe this is because about a month after the surgery on Nov. 3 my nurse found the same fistula track... then a few days later I had another surgeon find it as well.
So lets say I am not too bothered by the pain and drainage that I experience every now and then, could I just live with this fistula? Or will it cause more problems? confused

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 37
   Posted 5/31/2010 10:52 PM (GMT -6)   
I had a fistulotomy on October 29th. The tract is not "removed" it is a tunnel that is "opened" to permit healing. My tract is "healing resistant" and for the past 7 months, I have endured what you speak of.....extreme pain, discharge and an open gaping wound. I used Remicade successfully 10 years ago, but have since developed an allergy. With no relief in sight, I decided to try Humira, a similar drug to Remicade. I have been using it since early March and have had significant healing - although my wound lives on. I had an active fistula for 2 years a decade ago and I have had this deep tract for 2.5 years, yes with pain and wound can lead a relatively normal life. Though I have had to curtail some physical activities, I still work full-time and otherwise lead a normal life.
  • Dx of CD in '86. Re-section '93. 
  • Remicade trials late 90's. 2nd attempt - after 10 yrs - failed  
  • Hx of fissures, fistula, scleritis and erythema nodosum.
  • Presently on Imuran, Humira (March 2010)
  • Fistulotomy Oct '09 failed - healing resistant perianal wound tract

  • KristaC
    New Member

    Date Joined Jul 2009
    Total Posts : 4
       Posted 6/6/2010 10:49 AM (GMT -6)   
    I have a horseshoe fistula. I have several openings and have had countless fistulotomies over the last 7 years or so. I just had a seton placed (for the 3rd time) in one opening and out another to prevent the fistula from closing so that it can continue to drain. If it doesn't heal from the inside first and the opening closes, the drainage will pool and become infected and likely create more fistula tracks and more complications. Be thankful it's draining. Fact is, it may never heal.
    Age 40, Diagnosed with CD in 1990
    4 bowel resections
    peri-anal disease, currently have seton to allow draining of fistulas
    tapering off of prednisone, had been taking daily for 4 years
    prescribed Humira, 40 mg every 2 weeks
    monthly B12 injections
    Multivitamins and other supplements

    Regular Member

    Date Joined Jan 2010
    Total Posts : 336
       Posted 6/6/2010 12:53 PM (GMT -6)   
    My perianal abscess ruptured on its own in September and caused a fistula, which was diagnosed in December.
    I had a surgical consult and the surgeon said that as long as it's draining continuously, there's no point in doing anything surgical with it.
    He said that in his experience, if he tries to do too much with a fistula on a person who has Crohn's, he just creates more fistulas.
    He also said the location of my fistula was too high. Because of all that, I got the impression that fistulotomy surgery hurts more than it helps.
    He put in his report that my fistula was inoperable and because of that, my HMO finally allowed me to go on Remicade.
    I've had only 2 infusions and my fistula is almost completely closed with maybe a drop of fluid drainage only every other day.
    There is still a tiny lump, but it is fading fast.
    Remicade is the best treatment for fistulas. My GI says that there are no studies which show Humira completely removing fistulas.
    In addition, my brother is in school to become a surgical technician and his teacher has mentioned to him a new procedure for removing fistulas, one which is similar to the way doctors remove varicose veins. I forget the name, but it's a treatment that sounds pretty promising.
    Diagnosed with typical Crohn's at 16.
    Got lucky with Asacol for a year, then even luckier with ten years of relative remission.
    Now abscesses and fistulas are having an "atypical" Crohn's party around my junk.
    The surgeon said it is inoperable and so I start Remicade on May 7th.

    Regular Member

    Date Joined Oct 2009
    Total Posts : 22
       Posted 6/6/2010 10:08 PM (GMT -6)   
    Thank you all for your help, I am still going to ask my doctor to see what he thinks about it. But if I can live with it as it is... I will.
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