LIFT procedure update...

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Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2011
Total Posts : 33
   Posted 8/26/2011 11:23 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi all,

So, I had my LIFT procedure for my fistula this past Wednesday. The whole thing went really well, and my incision is less than a 1/2 inch long! I spent the night in the hospital, and really didn't have much pain at all, it felt more like a bad bruise than now we wait and see if it takes.

On a bad side note, my doc had thought I only had one fistula, while I maintained that I thought there were 2, based on drainage and such, but he could only find the one he did the LIFT on.....after my surgery, I told my doc that I felt gassy and that it felt like it passed vaginally, but he still thought I only had one fistula.....but told me to keep an eye on it after I had a bowel movement....this morning I got confirmation that I am right, there ARE two.

Anyway, I called and left a message and my surgeon called me personally, and we discussed it. He let me know how disappointed he was that he missed it and that he was sorry for that, and we have a new plan to revisit this after I have healed from this procedure. I gotta say that I spent the morning crying off and on, and I had felt so good after surgery and actually had a good experience in the hospital this time (my nurses were awesome, but that is another story for another time) and I had hoped that there was some light at the end of the tunnel....also, my surgeon had been so sure about there only being 1 that I thought I was wrong when I was right.

This is what happens when I get my hopes up.....

Anyway, I know that there were some of you that had questions about LIFT from before that I couldn't answer at the time, so feel free to ask.....I don't mind personal questions about this either!!
Diagnosed November 2008, but symptoms for 10 years prior, misdiagnosed as spastic colon.
Currently dealing with rectovaginal fistula, scheduled for LIFT procedure August 24th.
Meds: Tried and failed with Pentasa, Asacol, Prednisone, LDN, Remi. Currently on Humira and using herbal supplements to semi-successfully control bowel symptoms.

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2010
Total Posts : 167
   Posted 8/26/2011 1:26 PM (GMT -7)   
I don't know anything about the LIFT procedure, but I do know about vaginal gas. I've had it for years, and when it first started I had all kinds of tests but they never found a fistula. I only had "poop" come out the wrong place once (many years ago). I still have vaginal air occasionally. No idea why.

Did you have a big hole? How did they decide you did have a vaginal fistula? What test did they use?

I am so happy your procedure was successful!! But sorry it's not over :( I guess it's one day at a time with this stupid disease, right? Enjoy your partial victory :)
53YO married female with 2 children (19YO and 22YO).
CD since 1981, numerous surgeries including fistulaectomy, resections, adhesion removal.
Current medications: asacol, nexium, ferrous forte 150, pain medication.
Successful fistula, adhesion, stricture removal (2 ft small bowel) on April 12th!

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2011
Total Posts : 33
   Posted 10/8/2011 1:19 PM (GMT -7)   
Sorry I'm just getting back to you's been a busy month! Here's the continued update:

For me, I abscessed the first time in 09, and it was misdiagnosed as a Bartholin's Gland abscess. They cut into it from inside the vagina to drain it, inadvertently completing the rectovaginal fistula that was happening. It wasn't until 6 months later that we knew what it was, and the clear indicator was gas and stool where it shouldn't be. I saw my surgeon then, and he injected peroxide into the vaginal side of the hole....but I felt the burn in my rectum....after the second abscess, we did an exam under anesthesia (EUA), and the surgeon stuck a probe into the hole he found bottomside and then located the vaginal hole, and put a seton in as a placeholder for my LIFT. The only thing is that I was insisting that there were 2, so here we go again now.....

As to currently: everything regarding the LIFT seems to be ok so far. I've had a little bit of strange pain on the healthy side (where there are no fistulas), which is odd, but I'm wondering if it is nerve pain from the surgery, as there have been no signs of problems other than that. The "bullet hole" from the abscess drainage is healing well, with no further drainage. I was cleared to lift and drive again 3 weeks post OP. Now we're getting to the next EUA, on Nov 11th. The surgeon was so upset that he missed the 2nd one....he's vowed that he's not coming out of there until he finds it! :) I'm not sure exactly what he's going to do to find it, he's mentioned rectal ultrasound, but I'm gonna find out more on Oct 27th. After that, it will be surgery, and we're shooting for the end of Nov, beginning of Dec.

So, that's the update!! I'll try to be more vigilant about checking my email for replies!!!
Diagnosed November 2008, but symptoms for 10 years prior, misdiagnosed as spastic colon.
Currently dealing with rectovaginal fistula, had LIFT procedure August 24th, discovered that I had 2 fistulas 8/26, so now I'm waiting to heal so I
can deal with that one!
Meds: Tried and failed with Pentasa, Asacol, Prednisone, LDN, Remi. Currently on Humira.
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