Abscess, fistulas... what are they really?

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Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 200
   Posted 11/22/2007 4:40 PM (GMT -7)   
I've read descriptions about them and I am really starting to wonder what they are, what they look like, and where they most likely appear. I've always wondered since I found out I had CD about them and I have never had any problems about them before so I never asked anyone. Well... now I don't know what's going on but something really strange and painful has developed on my backside, around my rectum and I'm a bit scared of what it may be. All I know is it's just started to pus out. Yeah, it sounds really nasty but hopefully someone will be able to put a little insight on what's going on. I haven't seen my gastro about it seeing as I haven't had insurance in about a year now :). I know, wierd question, but any help would be greatful :)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 4527
   Posted 11/22/2007 6:25 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Sounds like it should be looked at .I think the best way to describe them is like a little tunnel where pus sort of borrows threw to make an opening that can drain . When a person gets a little crack in the bowel it leads to infection then fistula. I had one to skin surface on abd.I hope you can get to see a Dr. and get it checked as they can occure around the anus area. Best Wishes . lol gail

Elite Member

Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20577
   Posted 11/22/2007 6:39 PM (GMT -7)   
Basically from my understanding it's like gacrohns says...because with crohns the inflammation can affect the many layers of the intestinal tract, the deeper the inflammation goes means it can break through all the layers thus causing a fistula/abcess.

Not all CDers get them either, researchers have discovered genes that show up in those with what is called fistulizing crohns...I've had CD with no full remission at all over my entire 17 yrs and luckily have never experianced any fistulas and keeping my fingers and toes crossed that I never will...the perianal crohns skin tags are enough for me thanks....I'm lucky those didn't abcess on me.

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

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2004
Total Posts : 598
   Posted 11/23/2007 9:48 AM (GMT -7)   
You can also get fistulas and not have crohn's. I kept reading about obstetrical injury in countries where prenatal care is not adequate.
10 years, many tests, 3 gi doctors, Pentasa 1000mg 3x day
diovan, simvastatin and now trying good ol' zoloft

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 244
   Posted 11/23/2007 9:54 AM (GMT -7)   
what types of bacteria do these abcesses and fistulas contain?
"If thou wilt be observant and vigilant, thou wilt see at every moment the response to thy action. Be observant if thou wouldst have a pure heart, for something is born to thee in consequence of every action." -Rumi-
CD for 15 years diagnosed at age 11(i get the crohns cycle)

Elite Member

Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20577
   Posted 11/23/2007 11:24 AM (GMT -7)   
I don't even know if researchers know the answer to that question.

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

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 1220
   Posted 11/23/2007 8:47 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello Jamief,
Please see a doctor as soon as you can. See a good colo-rectal surgeon who has experience with CD. I have a rectal fistula with a seton (a plastic ring that keeps the fistula open so it can drain). If it is an abcess, the sooner you get it drained and dealt with the better! If caught and drained early, an abcess may not form a fistula. As others have described above, an abcess forms because of a tear in the rectum or a gland in the retum becomes infected -- all because of the CD which causes your body to start attacking the lining of the rectum. The abcess can't drain so it forms a tube (fistula) to the skin to drain the infection. The fistula can end/empty out anywhere around the rectum, even going from the rectum to the vagina (if you have one, of course!). Once formed, rectal fistulas don't normally go away by themselves -- they need surgery in most cases. Your GI doc can recommend someone to see or go to the ccfa.org website and search for a doc in your area.

I was misdiagnosed and ended up with a huge infection and a massive case of cellulitus. I was on antibiotics for months. After the colo-rectal surgeon put in the seton drain, I improved very quickly! I am on remicade now and my fistula/seton doesn't bother me much at all. Really I went from near death to 100%. I feel great and am quite active! I'll get the surgery someday....

Let us know know how it goes for you! I'm praying that it all goes well and you heal quickly!
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