Normal to have a little drainage/a little blood with seton drains even after 2 months?

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Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 25
   Posted 8/7/2009 5:05 PM (GMT -7)   
I had a couple of seton drains put in about 2 months ago and even today I am noticing a little blood if I do a sitz bath or press gentle with toilet paper.  Is this ok?  My surgeon gives me no guidance and I just stay freaked out.  I had abcess surgery the end of March and the setons put in about June 10.  I don't think it's a cutting seton cause there's no tightening.  I don't know what her plans are - she just says it's "complicated" Duh...
Has anyone one had a couple of tiny sore skin places on the exterior and it that ok?  Ever since the abcess surgery, I've been sore on the exterior.  It concerns me because people on this site have talked about not noticing that their setons after a while and I'm very conscious of them cause it's always a little sore in that area. 
It just seems illilogical that things haven't healed any faster - like when you get a cut or have surgery, it heals up.  I had a large abcess and she says she's trying to be careful, but is it bad that I haven't healed yet? 
Thank you for any guidance.

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 1220
   Posted 8/7/2009 6:26 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Bluemom,

I occasssionally still have a little bit of bloody drainage from my setons. You may still be healing and bad tissue is being shed. I know it has been a long, long time healing. I know exactly where you are because I was there too. I found out that you don't heal as fast when you have CD. Its part of having an inflammatory disease. It took about 3 months for my large abscess to heal.

With that said, I think you should see the doctor just to make sure things are going in the right direction. Better to have it checked out, You may have some cellulitis -- the tissue around the fistula may be infected. I actually called and talked to my surgeon's nurse assistant. She was very helpful and was able to take time to see me and really talk to me. I was able to get in to see her on short notice. I really suggest you try this because nurses are often more empathetic than surgeons (its not that surgeons don't care, but they are often overloaded with their surgery schedule and simply don't have time).

Talking to nurse is when I found out about skin yeast infections that can occur from the drainage. I had a bad skin yeast infection -- which is diaper rash -- and it really hurt! The nurse knew exactly what it was and got me the perscription that solved it quickly. I am wondering if this is what your red spots are. And are you wrapping the setons with guaze so the ends of the setons won't rub? The skin down there is fairly delicate and the plastic setons can rub you raw.

Please be assured that you will get all of this under control and then you will be more comfortable. For me it was all so new and un-nerving. I had no clue what was going on, whether I was doing the right thing, and whether I was ever going to get better. It is so hard when you feel so out of control. But I did get better, I now know what to expect, and I know how to deal with it or contact the people who can help me.

Please get in to see the doctor or nurse, and let us know how you are doing.
Take care!
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.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 25
   Posted 8/7/2009 6:50 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for the reply.  They don't think I have Crohns or IBS - I just had a random big abcess.  Since it was so big, the doctor put 2 setons in to try to allow it to heal.  She did not want to cut through and lay it open because it backs to the vaginal area, so she is trying to allow it to drain with setons and not have the abcess return.  This is the only place I've found where people talk about setons and their experiences with them.  I wish it didn't freak me out so bad to see the drainage, but I start out each day trying to have a positive attitude and then I see a little blood and I immediately think it's hopeless.  I don't know which I'm suffering more from - the backside issue or the anxiety with it.  The doctor has never mentioned anything like a yeast problem -just that there's irritation and small ulcerations on the outside.  She has never given me any cream or medicine to help.  I see her on the 18th and I will ask, because the soreness really bothers me 24/7.  Anyway, thanks - everyone on these forums are so nice.

Sarah Emma
New Member

Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 7/30/2010 5:00 AM (GMT -7)   
  • Hi,
  • You really have my sympathy because I am going through the same and nobody seems to be able to give any advice on these setons.  I have been off work now since October 2009.  I had intense pain for  several weeks and then a huge lump appeared on the inside of my buttocks and I was rushed into hospital to have an abscess drained.  They took out 80 mls of pus out and left me with a big hole 10cm deep by 2.5cm diameter.  This was packed daily and was almost healed but just wouldn't quite heal. So I was sent for an MRI scan.  This showed that when my Abscess burst onto the surface it also tracked as a fistula into my bowel and pelvic floor.  I then had another operation 0n 30th April to empty the abscess and put in a seton.  The area was left open to heal and also it was packed because it tracked behind my annul sphincter.  District Nurses came in daily to pack the wound and then it was left to me to do.  I am still packing it daily and the treatement room nurse measures the wound weekly to see how it is healing.  It seems to have stuck for the last 4 weeks and just will not heal over.  I have a Seton thread coming out of my annus with a knot and it goes back in through another hole underneath my annus. It is very difficult to put in a dressing.  Going for a bowel movement is a feat in itself because of this wire.  I still bleed sllightly and I am also very sore where the setons rubs. My nurse has suggested putting a foam dressing on either side of the seton to stop the rubbing and this seems to be working.  I have seen two GP's (second opinion) and neither of them will let me go back to work yet because I drive for a living and they say I could undo what I have had done.  I am so fed up and embarressed everytime I tell my work. How long does it take for the seton hole to heal up ? How long will this rubbing go on for ? and what about sex ?  This thing does not make me feel very feminine.

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 362
   Posted 7/30/2010 9:07 PM (GMT -7)   
I've had one of my setons 7 yrs and I still have copious drainage- some yellow-green pus and some blood. If I don;t wear a maxi I always leak thru my clothes. Sometimes its so bad I even have to cut another pad in half and just cover the back of my panties with them as I have 3 now and they leak from different areas,

it gets really sore when I do much walking..the discharge is more so it kind of eats my skin..and at bedtime its so itchy I want to rip my skin off...i hate this
33 years old, dx with Crohn's in 1998. Currently on :
Clofazimine 100mg daily,
Rifampin 600mg daily, and Clarithromycin 2 tabs daily
and Cipralex 10mg/day for anxiety.
Hydroxyzine, percocet, Ativan as needed.
5g pharmaceutical grade Omega 3's, 1000IU's Vitamin D3 daily
2 Perianal fistulas, and 1 more suspected. Crohn's only at end of colon, cecum. Remi, Asacol, Salofalk, Imuran, Humira did nada. Built immunity to long-term Cipro use, which also induced panic attacks.

Elite Member

Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 10404
   Posted 7/30/2010 10:09 PM (GMT -7)   
Everyone, this thread is a year old. Maybe we should just let it scroll to the back of the forum.

Lots of seton advice can be found in the link in my signature, below.

Co-Moderator Crohn's Forum.

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

Sarah Emma
New Member

Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 7/31/2010 2:15 AM (GMT -7)   
HI Ivy
Don't know what you mean by start a new topic.  New  to this.

New Member

Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 7/31/2010 5:26 AM (GMT -7)   
This is what happend to me too. Never had any clue that I had crohn's until this "random" abscess came along. Wouldn't heal. Wouldn't heal. Finally, since it wouldn't heal, after about a year, they figured it must be crohn's. One month into my remicade, and it dried right up. I was hesitant to go on Remi with so little assurance I was on Crohn's, but I am now grateful that I did not have a lifetime of symptoms and surgeries before finding the medicine that actually made me well.

New Member

Date Joined May 2017
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 5/28/2017 4:53 AM (GMT -7)   
Iv got a seton in place and it looks like it's split a little is this something to worry about it's a little painful but will it heal on its own?
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