Posted 10/20/2018 2:52 PM (GMT -7)
Thanks for your kind words. It's been 4 weeks and two days since I had my advancement flap surgery. It's been a tough journey, that's for sure.
First of all, if the plug doesn't work and your husband decides on a flap then let me assure you that the surgery itself isn't so bad. I had little pain afterwards, and stayed one night in hospital purely as a precaution. However, I will say that the 'healing process' is a struggle. While it didn't hurt a lot 'down there', it felt uncomfortable. For the first week or two I felt like I constantly needed to empty my bowels when there was nothing to empty. I put it down to having swollen tissue inside from the operation, plus the stitches. The first two weeks were okay, I had little drainage and even that was mostly from my anus (a yellowy substance that's not pus). I had almost none from my external opening of the fistula which was amazing.
However, two weeks into recovery and the same cycle of morning bowel movement, followed by achy pain in my anus and yellow drainage from my fistula started up again. I was certain the surgery had failed, as the symptoms were more or less identical to pre surgery.
However, the last three days have been slightly better. I still get a pain after bowel movements but it's less of an ache, and more like a soreness you get around your anus if, say, you eat spicey food? Sorry for the graphic description! That lasts for a couple of hours and then lessens. The drainage from my external fistula opening has decreased, and it's barely anything.
I'm still not getting my hopes up, but I would be absolutely over the moon if the advancement flap hasn't cured the fistula BUT has migrated it to a low fistula, or something similar. At this point I'll take anything!
I think there's an idea that once you get an op like the flap, or LIFT, that the fistula just goes away quick and then the wound heals from the inside out, but my guess is that an internal fistula that has been there for a long time (in my case a whole year) takes a LONG time to burn out, and that the healing is very very gradual. The whole '4-6 weeks healing time' they give you online is bogus and just a generic estimate. I think most people take a lot longer. In my case, I'm just trying to be zen about it all. If it's still there then I'll give the flap, or LIFT, a try. Might even look into the cutting seton.
In any case, please update us with your husbands condition, and good luck!