Fistulotomy recovery?

Posted , 4 users are following.


I've been reading these forums with interest since my illness began in June.

I presented at minor injuries with severe back and rectal pain, I was sent away with a diagnosis of soft tissue damage and painkillers. Over the next few days it became excruciating and I returned and was firmer this time in wanting further exploration. Unfortunately I was sent away again. A few days later it became so bad I went to A&E where I was taken for emergency surgery to drain a large abscess in my left buttock. I went home the next day and attended dressing clinic, things got a bit confusing here as I became very confused and unwell. My right buttock was bright red (abscess has been drained on the left) the nurse said to see Dr if it got worse over the next few days... Fast forward to 4am the following morning and an ambulance was called, turns out I had stage 2 sepsis and the abscess hadn't been fully drained leading it to cross my midline and effectively eat away at 1/3 of my right buttock. Next few days are a blur and I had 2 more operations to fix it. I then spent the next 3 weeks in hospital having dressings changed under gas and air and lots of anti biotics. I went home for a week and had nurses visit daily to pack and dress it but then I got an infection and was re admitted to hospital. I spent a week in then and had an MRI which showed a fistula in my left buttock. I returned home when then infection had cleared up and had daily nurse visits for the next month or so. In September I had a seton stitch procedure which was then changed in December to a different material as the original one gave me a reaction. It drains daily a clear or grey foul smelling fluid and the big area that was cut away has now scarred over nicely (although the pain from the scar is awful, consultant is suggesting a procedure to trim the scar after next surgery)

On Thursday I'm having surgery to lay open the fistula. It's about a finger length long and from my anus is around the 2oclock area.

I wondered if anyone could tell me what that will look like, is it going to be like an open trench? My consultant said It will heal from the bottom up, does that mean it will be packed?

I'm so low and fed up of this now, my consultant is amazing and has said it could all have been avoided if it was picked up sooner sad I struggle with bowel movements and also the sepsis damaged my prudendal nerve which causes a lot of pain around the vaginal area and then bit where my thigh meets my bum Cheek.

What are your experiences of a Fistulotomy? Any info greatly received x

PS, I was tested for chrons and don't have it. I did have a fissure but this was successfully treated with botox

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4 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Laura

    So Sorry youre having trouble.

    That sounds terrible. 😞I dont know about this problem but im sure someone will reply with info..

    You take care and best of luck

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  • Posted

    Update in case anyone is reading this.

    I had the surgery on Thursday, unfortunately 60% of the fistula was attached to the sphincter so my consultant only removed half of it. She attached another seton stitch and will remove the rest of the fistula in May as well as trimming the scar.

    Since coming home I've had daily visits from the amazing district nurses who have cleaned and packed the hole daily. I'm taking tramadol, morphine, amitryptaline and ibuprofen for the pain as well as senna and Lactulose for my bowels. I've noticed my muscles are not as strong, when passing wind there isn't much of a strain. Bm have been surprisingly ok! The hole is right next to my anus so of course there is pain when passing but I remind myself it will pass shortly. Hoping there will be no fissure as really couldn't deal with that right now. Tend to shower after bm and then nurse dresses the area and partially covers the anus with a dressing so I only have 1 bm a day where possible. Hurts to walk too much and sit but I'm hoping it is healing well.

    Hope this can be of help to anyone who is experiencing similar


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    • Posted

      Sounds like you've had a terrible time, but are finally headed in a positive direction. From my experience with fissures and now scar tissue, the first battle is getting a proper diagnosis. Hoping you are on the right side of this now. Good luck.

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  • Posted

    It's healing well although very painful still, the consultant has only asked for 10 days of packing so the nurses have asked me to find out what she wants them to do after day 10.

    Have really struggled the past day with a fissure that seems to have happened again, I guess it's from being constipated? Is this a typical feeling of a fissure, pain during bowel movement and then agonising sharp pain after, then a muscle spasming pain for about an hour after where it feels like you can't stand up straight? And to make it worse I swapped laxido for Lactulose and just had the most horrific liquid explosive bm. I tried to hold it for a minute and finish what I was doing but had to dash to the bathroom and just made it in time.... Think I'll go back onto laxido tomorrow, had another bout of it an hour later... I think my body is empty now but Omg that was horrific!

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