1 - Do nothing becasue she is not "sick":
Doing nothing is a mistake as fistulas are relentless and will continue to cause problem and possibly multiply.
I had 5 perianal fistula surgery in 3 months in 1997 my surgeon said he could not operate around the sphincter mussel any more as I would loose any and all control with it.
I had to go in a ileo to heal up the perianal fistulas (dry them out) has your moms fistula punch through the skin? all 5 of mine did and I couldn't bare the pain.
I had no choice and had to give in to the bag and like others I was free of all pain and meds for 11yrs, now I am reversed as of 3 1/2 weeks but I went in to this reversal with knowledge and reserch and counciling with my Doctor (Dr.Theodore Bayless; Google him) he spoke with me about
new medication that has come about
in the past 10yrs and he placed me on Humira a medication that has seen success in controlling the fistulas and keeping them dorment he told me 3 out of 5 people respond well to this treatment.
I also had/have stricture mostly due to the operations of the fistulas and not being used for 11yrs but in March my surgeon did a colonoscopy and did a dilation test on the stricture to make sure the mussel could expand and also to check on the fistulas as far as activity...they never are gone only dormant and she said she could see some tissue area of the fistulas and were not active. Dr.Bayless plan was to treat my body with a 4-2-1 saturation treat ment before my reversal to keep the fistulas dormant.
2 - Fix the fistula now with a bowel resection.
Not that I am a expert but Humira might be a better option have you mom talk to her Dr, surgery on fistulas are alway difficult and your mom's is in a different place then mine were. again ask the Dr and try meds before a operation.
3 - Have a bowel resection with a permanent Ileostomy.
This is alway a last option one that your mom will have to come to terms with and one that her Dr would advocate if they see no other alternative's such as meds.
Being in a ileo was a stigma for me about
the first few months but I was normal and health for 11yrs it's not a thing of shame but I did have a hang up swimming in public
pools but that was just me also the ocastional accidents do happen in bed at work ect. but you learn to over come them. I can't tell you how many times I woke up to one and had to jump in the shower at 2am to clean up.
Good luck to your mom and hope I was able to give some insite.
Post Edited (MDdave) : 11/11/2008 8:49:56 AM (GMT-7)