Ive been packing an abcsess/open wound that has since turned into a fistula for over a year now. I completely soak the gauze then ring it out....I also don't use tap water I have some kinda solution that was prescribed (if your using tap water, call your doc asap and ask for a rx for something sterile). you need to make sure its wet while its healing or else it will stick to the gauze and everytime you change it, it will pull and reopen a little. I also in the begining changed it frequently (4 times a day) as to not allow the gauze to dry. Also ask your doc to prescribe you Kerlix (not sure of the spelling) gauze, I found that much easier to pack in. As for the pain I dont know what to tell you, it's going to the painfull...no way around that. I don't have pain anymore but when I did I would take a vicodin about 30 mins before I changed the dressing...hopefully your doc gave you some pain meds after the surgery, if not ask for them. Goodluck to you! I will be having a similar surgery to take down my abdominal fistula on Nov 13th!
Dianogsed with Crohns: At 16 years old. 22 years old now.
Surgeries:2 Bowel Resections, Gallbladder Removed, 3 Abscess Cleanings
Current Meds: Cimzia, Methorexate, Vitamin B12 (injections), Nexium.
Sept 4, 2009 to Take Down Abdominal Fistula!! (On hold until current flare is under control, boo!)