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Date of last update: 8/19/2017.

Forum Name: Surgery Topics

Question: Post Fistula Surgery Advice Needed

 Fistula Pete - Sun Oct 25, 2009 5:33 pm

Dear Doctors,

I developed a perianal abscess back in July which resulted in the formation of a fistula. I ended up having an anal fistulectomy on September 23 to heal the fistula from the inside out. My doctor told me that the fistula would heal on its own after the surgery. I am now concerned because it has been 5 weeks and I am still experiencing leakage and some discomfort. I went to see my doctor again 2 weeks ago (3 weeks after surgery) and he told me to stop taking sitz baths and to just try to keep the area dry. He also told me to place a piece of cotton or gauze over the leaking area to keep it from irritating my skin. Does this sound like good advice? Is there anything I can do to speed up the healing process? How long should it take for the fistula to fully heal and for the leaking to stop?

Also, is it OK to start exercising again? I developed a really bad rash during workouts before I had the fistulectomy because the leakage combined with sweat was extremely irritating to the skin. I am worried that a similar rash will reappear once I start exercising again. Please advise. Thank you.
 Dr.M.Aroon kamath - Tue Oct 27, 2009 9:23 am

User avatar Hi,
Perianal region is unlike most regions of the body in that the fecal matter passes over it on a regular basis (along with its countless bacteria). Thus, you may understand that any surgical wound in that region can't be kept as 'clean' as in some other parts of the body.
Wound dressings are difficult to apply, difficult to secure and difficult to change without help of others.
I do not know what type of anorectal fistula you had and how far the external opening was from the anal opening.
Perianal wounds heal surprisingly well despite the drawbacks i had mentioned.
Without looking at the wound, it may be very difficult to predict when it is likely to heal.It may be better to avoid exercising for the time being.
Good luck!

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