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hi folks,

have been to see 7 doctors so far with a recurring peri anal abscess that does not clear up. first started around a year ago then got pregnant and it just disappeared. anyway 3 months after giving birth its back and driving me crazy. every couple of weeks gets really sore then drains itself. I'm 100 percent it's a fistula and finally have a referral to colo rectal surgeon. the wait time is 6 months!! I'm really worried it's going to get worse. I'm 32 otherwise healthy into my fitness eat a healthy vegetarian diet .

is it likely to get worse? the abscess is around the size of a 10 cents. I keep getting told it's very superficial and small but it doesn't feel that way! also how likely is it that I could have crohns with no other symptoms?

god I just want a solution. makes me feel so gross. the more I read about it the more scared I am! can it branch off to make new tracks?


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  • Posted

    just to add each doctor seemed to have different ideas on what it was and one even told me even if it was a fistula it just needed time to heal from the inside out. very frustrating after educating myself on it

    nobody has confirmed fistula yet btw but I know it is in my heart of hearts.

    really hard work to have this whilst nursing a 3 month old. feels like a night.

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    • Posted

      Hi... I've had a perianal abscess on and off for about a year and a half. Because of that, I've been diagnosed with a fistula... however, they've yet to FIND it. (Exploratory surgery and MRI showed nada!)

      I've seen 2 different colorectal surgeons in Boston... BOTH said that fistulas will not "branch off." That was a huge concern of mine. They said however it initially forms is what it is.

      Both also said it will NOT go away on its own. The 1st surgeon - who's since retired after 40+ years, hence my having to see a second surgeon - said to really think about a second surgery before jumping the gun. I've been lucky in that so far, in the last couple months it's been practically non existent. He said it may only "cycle" once a year for a few days and to weigh the potential risks involved with any surgery.

      My current surgeon (whose been practicing for 15 years) said she has a patient who's had a fistula for 10 years!

      So. I'm just going to wait & see. Every time it's been good in the past, it always flares up again and I'm totally gutted!

      Believe it or not, I believe I initially got it from my colonoscopy prep! My 1st surgeon said that would make sense as "sudden change in bowel movement" can cause them.

      I've never colitis, IBD or anything like that so...?

      I hope you find a resolution very soon... it's an awful & embarrassing thing to have. Really can take a toll emotionally, as well!

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    • Posted

      i am currently suffering from an abscess (self diagnosed as i cant see dr until tomorrow). all signs point to abscess. I have suffered from fissures on and off for 15 years. I finally got a colonoscopy several weeks ago and was feeling pretty good after that. It seemed like the fissures had healed actually. Then I developed this hard very painful lump that eventually burst. I believe the colonoscopy prep also gave me this abscess. im wondering if tours ever resolved?

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  • Posted

    Hi Laura,

    I completely get where you are coming from. I had an abscess that turned into a fistula and my gut told me it was for sure a fistula when the draining would not stop. I went to various doctors and ultimately it was confirmed that I did have a fistula. I had surgery to repair it 2 months before my wedding and unfortunately, I was still wearing a gauze the day of my wedding because the surgery was not successful and it was slightly draining.

    The doctor eventually said they can reoccur even after surgery and some people "just learn to live with it".

    I can say I have learned to enjoy the good days and ride out the bad ones. I have accustomed to living with it and have not let it hold me back from doing the things I want to do. The sucky part is that now I can't leave my house without carrying extra gauze.

    I hope you find a solution to your problem and please share your experience as we are our only support.

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    • Posted

      Same boat as you- Ive learned to live with it for 6/7 years after 5 unsuccessful seton placements for 2 perianal fistulas. Im very worried about getting my pelvic mri which Ive put off for so long, as I know they will suggest surgery again. I'm a new mom to an 11 month old! The fistulas havent caused too many problems, drainage here and there and sometimes pain if I eat something I shouldnt have.

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  • Posted


    I actually forgot about this post! just wanted to update on my journey.

    so I finally had it diagnosed as a fistula after a proper scan. I then was asked if I wanted to try surgery or leave it . I said surgery and they said the plan was to open it up no promises and put a seton in if needs be. obviously was hoping they could just lay it open and woke up thinking i can't feel anything maybe they did just lay it open. but soon realized it was just the anaesthetic wearing off. it was really quite crap to get used to but I actually just got my head behind, well they are looking at it again in a few months so I've got to hope that it will work and be fixed. during that time I ate like a saint and who knows but I felt like taking processed food out as much as possible really helped. so went back for the next surgery to again just look and see and they thought it would likely be another seton and they would fix it bit by bit over a long period of time as it cut across so much of the muscle. so I was quite shocked to wake up and find it gone..they said that during the time the seton was in my body had worked to close it off and push the seton out which had really helped. she decided to go ahead and cut a tiny bit of the muscle as she felt it was worth it and wouldn't risk continence. after a couple of weeks recovery I felt normal again and honestly to actually just wipe 'normally" and go felt pretty f ing life changing as dramatic as that sounds after nearly 3 years of putting stuff down their to catch the oozing and cleaning up after going. it kinda feels like my exit zone has moved and just feel kinda different after the surgery but post follow up it all looked good and no signs of a fistula. I know they can easily come back and if it does I'm really savoring the time I've got free of it and at least know there are solutions out their to try, as degrading as they may feel. if anybody wants to message me about it feel absolutely free. you can do this. you're stronger than you think

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  • Posted


    I have been diagnosed with a perianal abscess recently, only went to the doctor after 4 days as the pain was getting worse and unbearable. Doctor advised for incision but it was too painful to start and he gave me antibiotics to take. It seems to work and there are fluids discharging naturally from the abscess (just for a day) and there is no pain anymore. My question is - I still see and feel a bump at the area even though it is dry and no more pain. Should i follow up with the doctor for incision in case it was not drained fully naturally?

    Also this is my second time experiencing this. the first time, the pain went away itself without discharge and no medical attention was sought (i assumed it was just a pimple/boil as i tend to have that occuring at my privates during period)

    just wondering if there is any way i can tell at this stage if it may be a fitsula and what should i look out for? or if i can wait it out since there is no pain or discharge at this moment? i am very worried about going under the knife but at the same time do not wish to wait for it to worsen before seeking medical attention. thank you and look forward to kind advices from the community!

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