Possible Crohn's diagnosis?

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New Member

Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 9/19/2007 1:35 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi, I'm new to the board and wondering if anyone out there has had a similar experience to me. Here's my story.

I have always tended toward constipation, and off and on since college I've experienced occasional bleeding that a GI in college labeled as hemorrhoids. I never really thought twice about it... just applied some Anusol-HC and bulked up on the fiber whenever I started to bleed, and eventually things would be fine again. During my first pregnancy 9 years ago, I developed what I thought was a small external hemorrhoid, which grew enormous after giving birth. My OB/GYN tried several times to refer me to a colorectal surgeon to have it removed, but I never followed up because it was more a nuisance than anything else.

Finally, after years of intermittent bleeding and itching, I went to the surgeon. She immediately told me it was not a hemorrhoid but a very large skin tag, with a very large and abnormal looking anal fissure. She recommended surgery due to the chronic nature of the fissure and also suggested that the visible characteristics of the fissure made her suspect Crohn's, so she wanted to biopsy it and also do a flexible sigmoidoscopy. What??? I have no other symptoms of Crohn's whatsoever (no diarrhea or abdominal pain), and no family history of IBD. Just one family member with IBS. My dad, who is a retired GI himself, was also very skeptical that it could be Crohn's since I've never complained of any symptoms that are remotely associated with Crohn's.

I proceeded with the surgery to remove the skin tag and repair the fissure, at which time the surgeon noted and repaired two additional superficial fissures as well, also with small tags. Sigmoidoscopy looked normal, but surgeon thinks the large fissure in particular looks very suspicious for anal Crohn's. I have also read that multiple fissures as well as fissures in a lateral position (which one of the smaller ones was) should also be considered suspicious for Crohn's.

Biopsy result from the base of the main fissure says "focal ulceration and focal granuloma formation" but that the granulomas are "of unknown clinical significance." It further says that IBD is considered and is a possibility, but recommends obtaining rectal biopsies for further evaluation. It's apparently not conclusive for Crohn's but it can't be ruled out either. My dad (retired GI) looked at the pathology report and noted that it states that "foreign body giant cell reaction is favored," which he says could mean anything.

Other things that have my surgeon still very much leaning toward Crohn's are that she specifically asked about mouth sores, and I did indeed have a period of several months where I experienced constant canker sores in my mouth, one after another. But that was several years ago. It was very troublesome at the time, but they finally stopped, I haven't had another episode since. Also, at my 1 week post-op appointment, the surgeon was concerned that I was healing slowly and still very inflamed. She says this is very characteristic of Crohn's. My next appt. is in 3 weeks and she's talking about putting me on Flagyl if there are still healing concerns at that time.

What I'm wondering, as I wait on pins and needles for my next appointment, is does this sound ANYTHING like any Crohn's experience anyone else here has had? It it just a fluky collection of things that are coincidentally associated with Crohn's, or could it really be Crohn's with chronic constipation instead of diarrhea?

I just don't know what to think. Thanks for any insights!

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 340
   Posted 9/19/2007 1:57 PM (GMT -7)   
I would suggest a colonoscopy. I don't really know what else to suggest. It certainly sounds like you could have the crohn's that tends towards constipation. Hopefully someone with the constipation side of crohn's will reply to you.

Good luck. :-)
Finally Dx- April 13 2007 (age 26) ilio-crohn's-colitis. Surgeries:appendectomy, cholecystectomy, tonsillectomy, pinidal cyst removed,emergency abdominal surgery for hemorrhaging ovary from burst ovarian cyst, LEEPcervix, emergency abdominal surgery for grapefruit sized ovarian cyst removal, D and C of uterus, lumpectomy of breast.
MEDS: remicade, prednisone, Asacol TID, protonix, metformin, buspar, trazodone, multi V, B complex, flaxseed. Vegetarian, leaning towards vegan. no nuts, seeds, or wheat.
Many allergies. Polycystic ovarian syndrome, anxiety, depression, ITP 
Every tool is a weapon if you hold it right ~ Ani Difranco

Elite Member

Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20577
   Posted 9/19/2007 2:08 PM (GMT -7)   
My crohns started out with preianal crohns skin tags (as you mentioned having), and I started getting them in my teens with NO OTHER SIGNS OF CD WHAT SO EVER, until I was in my early 20's about a yr and ahalf AFTER I had my first baby...my skin tags got out of control with pain (flaring) and I even started to get some leakage....NOTE, in my teens the tags would come and go on their own with no rhyme or reason.

Back to my early 20's again, when these tags became out of control I was told they were severe hemherroides and went in for an emergency hemheorroidectomy, they banded them (tied them off) and HAD they been hemmies they would have shrunk up on their own after the surgey. But they did not because they were perianal crohns skin tags, shortly after the surgery, my CD appeared in my rectom (proctitis),, colon (crohns-colitis) and small intestine....I had some bad fissures too, not deep but plenty of small ones all over my skin tags and anal area.

Crohns is a funny and sometimes unpredictable disease...if you ask me I say you have crohns, because the skin tags are only related to CD and not any other form of IBD (UC, ect).

You can have constipation with crohns as well as D or even alternating D and C.

But you definitely need to get a colonoscopy among all the other typical tests, blood work and stool samples.

My GI told me to take fibre supplements for the rest of my life, daily, it helps, and so does taking probiotics daily.

CD can also be mild, moderate or severe, and for yrs might only affect one area, anywhere from the mouth to the anus, or multiple areas at the same time.

My bum is broken....there's a big crack down the middle of it!  LOL  :)

New Member

Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 9/20/2007 7:56 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for the info! I do expect to go for a colonoscopy. It's just all so confusing because I never in a million years expected to hear "Crohn's" when I thought I was going in for a simple hemorrhoid!

Elite Member

Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20577
   Posted 9/20/2007 10:54 AM (GMT -7)   
I hear ya, I felt the same way when I was told I had hemmies and it turned out to be crohns...with perianal crohns skin tags you're not suppose to have them removed or anything like that (mine were banded) while they're in a flare, you're suppose to get cortifoam to brink them out of a flare and then they can get snipped off once they've shrunk up completely.

Good luck :)
My bum is broken....there's a big crack down the middle of it!  LOL  :)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 501
   Posted 9/20/2007 1:50 PM (GMT -7)   
I had constipation when I was diagnosed with CD of terminal ilium.  I did have abdominal pains though as well.  I may have a small skin tag or hemmorhoid, I am not sure what it is and don't want to know! 
Diagnosed 1/06
CD of Terminal Ileum
Taking Pentasa, Entocort, Prograf and Remicade.

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