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Date of last update: 10/15/2017.

Forum Name: Gastroenterology Topics

Question: Fistula Surgery

 artchic - Thu Jan 08, 2009 2:42 pm

I had a Vaginalrecto Fistula repaired surgically with the "flap" technique 3 weeks ago. I went in for my check-up and saw the nurse practioner. She said everything looked fine and saw no infection and I was healing well. However I am quite concerned about a few things and she told me to see the doctor about these issues but I cannot get in to see her for another 3 weeks... After about 10 days of recovery, I started having stool leakage from my rectum. Over the course of the last week, this has increased. Is this normal? The nurse seems to think this is just drainage from the incision because she did not see anything at the exam. (I took a shower prior to the exam and was clean at that point.) I know the difference between stool and drainage. After the exam, I now am having the brown drainage that she was talking about in my vagina. Does this mean the repair is tearing and it is seeping through? I have also developed a skin tag (the size of a large pea) which bleeds basically every time I have a BM. Is this OK for this to be happening for the next 3 weeks? Again, the nurse didn't seem to be bothered by this... For the first week after surgery I had bad diarrhea from the antibiotics, and some pain, but everything seemed to be fine. I am just wondering if this anal leakage of stool is normal, the drainage in my vagina and the bleeding skin tag are all just nothing to worry about for the next 3 weeks and I need to calm down. Or should I be aggressive and insist on seeing my doctor sooner. Please advise. Thanks.
 John Kenyon, CNA - Thu Jan 08, 2009 9:46 pm

User avatar Hello -

My first thought when you mentioned anal leakage was a possible hemorrhoid. The "skin tag" the size of a pea could actually be a small hemorrhoid (I'm assuming it's in that area) and these can cause leakage or at least seepage of small but annoying amounts of stool matter. This probably isn't a major concern, but could be addressed while the rest of the symptoms are being evaluated.

The vaginal drainage could be normal, but because of the color it is difficult to know if this is just old blood and detritus from the repair, or if the repair itself has failed and is leaking through. The only way to be sure would be to have this looked at by the doctor who performed the repair or someone who is familiar with this sort of repair. It's probably fine, but there's no reason to wait three weeks to find out whether or not the drainage is healthy and normal or if it suggests a problem. I'd insist on being seen ASAP, just to get these things clarified. If they're fine, then the scheduled followup exam can be kept or moved forward.

I hope this is helpful. Good luck to you with this. Please follow up with us as needed.

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