Going on holiday with seton stitch

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Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 20
   Posted 6/7/2010 11:30 AM (GMT -6)   
I am going away on holiday in September and wondered if anyone has any advise on how to deal with a seton and it's discharge whilst in a hot climate?
I have had it in now for 8 months and whilst it is quite settled , apart from the odd pull and discomfort, i am just worried about bring so self conscious it is going to ruin my holiday.
I am used to wearing a bikini on holiday and lying in the sun all day but this time is different because of the stitch. My consultant is prepared to discuss changing it for a fishing line type (as he puts it) but won't consider that until after the holiday in case something goes wrong whilst I am there.
My main concerns are going in and out of the sea and drying it. I am worried that it may start to smell. I am wondering if there are any particular types of dressing which will cover the whole area but are discrete enough to hide under bikini bottoms?
The seton comes through my anus so it is hard to get a dressing that will fit without being uncomfortable. I am currently using mepilex border 7 x 7.

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 6/7/2010 12:15 PM (GMT -6)   
Gymlozza welcome to Healingwell. I don't have any experience with setons, but just wanted to welcome you to Healingwell. I am sure someone with experience will be along soon. I did delete your other post as it was attached to a REALLY old post and your request was basically the same as this one. Hugs!
Gail*Nanners* Co-Moderator for Crohns Disease 
Crohn's Disease for over 34 years. Currently on Asacol, Prilosec, 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!
*Every tomorrow has two handles.  We can take hold of it by the handle of anxiety, or by the handle of faith"*

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2010
Total Posts : 39
   Posted 6/7/2010 2:26 PM (GMT -6)   
I had in a rubber band seton for a couple months and I understand about the embarassing discharge, I never had a problem with smell it did seem odorless.  What about a smaller adhesive square bandage?  The kinds that are rubber type material.  I use to get small 3x3 gauze pads and cut them in half esp when i was wearing shorts.  I would be worried about wearing a  gauze pad in the water as it might just distentigrate.  One suggestion if you are going to be in and out of the water I don't think anyone will notice or maybe wear a sarong, you know the shear type skirts that might hide any excessive drainage.  I did go swimming with my seton, but I would just go for exercise so I was in and out of the pool not lounging around so there was no drainage that was noticeable or anything.  I did ask my surgeon if it was ok to swim and get into a jacuzzi, she said it wasn't like an open wound and it was safe.

Elite Member

Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 10404
   Posted 6/7/2010 6:17 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi there, Lymlozza,

I wonder if you've had a look at the thread on abscesses and fistulae that can be found in my signature? Several of our members have provided some wonderful advice on how to cope with discharge etc, and you might find some of those helpful.

Like Seraphina, I tend not to lounge around in my swimmers, so I'm not sure how big a problem drainage might be. How much do you drain normally? Is your fistula leaking a lot, or has the discharged diminished?

I like Seraphina's idea of wearing a sarong. You might also like to think about getting a pair of swimmers that has a skirt attached, so that nobody can see what's going on around your bottom. I know that these used to have quite a dowdy reputation, but I have seen some skirty swimsuits on websites, and some of them are quite attractive, youthful and pretty.

You could also *try* putting a gauze pad over your fistula and securing it with a waterproof surgical dressing (ask your pharmacist about these), and then test it in the shower or a bathtub to see if it stays on, and absorbs drainage as well as you'd like. If you're really committed, you could have a super-long bath, and see just how long the waterproof dressing and pad lasts before you need to pop into a change room to apply a fresh one.

If you go down this route, you'll probably want to keep some spare dressings in your beach bag, and maybe a little mirror so you can bend over in the change room and see what you're doing :-).

I hope you have a wonderful holiday.

Co-Moderator Crohn's Forum.

Medications for Crohn's ~~ Diet and Nutritional Therapy for Crohn's ~~ Dealing with Abscesses and Fistulae ~~

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 20
   Posted 6/8/2010 2:41 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks Nanners and Seraphina for your advise.

I had a large perianal abscess drained in October last year, 5 operations, 3 weeks in hospital so it was quite serious although it doesn't leak anywhere near compared to back then it is still making me very self conscious. I would say it probably leaks (by leaking I mean making that horrible rippling sound) about twice a day but not enough to have to change the dressing.
My partners sister is a nurse and has mentioned some 'skin' type dressings that are available, I am waiting for her to give me the name of them to see if they will help.
I really want to enjoy this holiday but as you will all know it is easy to let these things get in the way of having fun.
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