Welcome aboard, I too am a new member. I must say, you have came to the right place for answers. This group is fantastic! I can't be of much help but surely would love to help however I can. My daughter had surgery in Nov for abcesses/fistulas.(I believe they are similar or the same?) There wasn't much warning just came on pretty sudden with severe rectal pain. To the best of my knowledge, it is a complication of the disease and is caused from inflamation, tunnels can form in the intestinal walls, allowing bacteria to back up. Can't imagine a preventative measure. I hope I'm not far off on that?! The surgery didn't take long and she was feeling better within a few days. She said the relief of pressure was immediate but obviously she had new pain from the procedure. Soaking in the bath was helpful for her. Good luck with your condition and your search for answers. I will keep you in prayer!