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Well... It's over (Yay!).

This morning is Day 1 post-op. So far so good. A little history about myself, as yesterday I did not have much time to write a long post...

December of 2007 (almost two years ago) I decided I wanted to get rid of a few internal hemorrhoids, so I visited a colorectal specialist. I had the choice of either [B]traditional hemorrhoid removal[/B] with a cautery knife, or to do a less invasive surgery approach called [B]PPH[/B] (Procedure for Prolapse and Hemorrhoids) which is the staple surgery also known as Stapled Hemorrhoidopexy. I chose the PPH, due to my particular circumstance.

So, everything has been wonderful since my PPH surgery two years ago, no problems whatsoever. Then, last Wednesday, nine days ago, I felt a small bump appear externally. I thought it was the beginning of another hem. As each day passed, it got bigger and more excruciatingly painful. By Saturday and Sunday night, I couldn't stand it -- I could barely walk, sit, anything. It hurt bad. I called my colorectal doctor and made an appointment for Tuesday morning.

Before he examined me, we consulted in his office. I described it, my pain, and what this possibly could be. He was determined that it sounded like a thrombosed hemorrhoid. I thought I was going to be in and out of there... not the case, unfortunately...

After he completed the examination, he informed me that what I had was an infection. ??? I couldn't believe it... I am very particular about being clean and having good hygiene. What?? Yes, he continued it is an abscess with a fistula. He also told me that we would have to do surgery. Thursday. I asked him how did I get this? He answered, "Bad luck." He explained that it was as random as someone getting a pimple on his/her face.

My mind was racing... surgery the day after next? He explained that he could give me some antibiotics for the infection, but because the infection was enclosed inside of this "lump" the antibiotics would not make it from the bloodstream to this infection. I would basically have an infection there forever, until I got it removed. Also, waiting is not a good idea, he told me, that it would be better to get that out as soon as possible. So, I agreed to surgery. Before I knew it, I was out the door with hospital pre-admission paperwork.

I went home and did some research about what I was diagnosed with, since I had never even heard of a fistula before that morning. I learned that an abscess is an infected cavity filled with pus found near the anus or rectum. A fistula is almost always the result of an abscess. It is a small tunnel connecting to the abscess.

I wanted to take care of this immediately. The next day I went for an ultra sound. The doctor then let me know that in order to keep my muscles the way they are (no problems at all with incontinence or passing gas) that he would have to do this operation in stages (meaning two surgeries or more).

Feeling nervous and confused, but determined to get rid of this strange infection in my body, I had the surgery yesterday. A [B]fistulotomy[/B] with a seton.

And now the surgery is over. I feel pressure, but not a lot of pain. The doc prescribed Percocet, but I have been trying not to take it often, as it weirds me out. I feel OK I guess... considering what my bum has gone through. Oh, and I am drinking water like crazy and taking stool softeners for my dreaded first bowel movement. I haven't had much of an appetite, but I ate some chicken broth yesterday with some Fiber-One crackers. And more water. I'll probably start some fruit or veggies today, more fiber, and more water.

Oh, and one more thing... I'm concerned that this will change my quality of life. I'm active and like to exercise, go to the gym, etc.

Sorry this post is so long.

If anyone has had any such experiences, or have any tips/advice, or just share your stories, I would love to hear from you. None of my family (or friends that I have told about this) have gone through this.

Hi Everyone,

I am doing fine -- I'm working and doing most activities as normal (even with a seton in place). I went in for my post-op visit a little while ago. I have a surgery scheduled for Dec. 16th for the plug.

Softball70 -- My doctor suggested trying the plug. He didn't tell me if "the plug" was the BIO fistula plug that you are referring to, but he said it was man-made, not made from pig. He said there was a 30% success rate -- which doesn't look promising -- but at least it is worth a try. If it works, that would be fantastic. If not, we would discuss other methods before cutting into the muscle. He explained that it would be better for me to have a very hard year of surgeries rather than one fistulotomy (cutting) and be incontinent for the rest of my life (I'm only 39). My ultra-sound is on Dec. 8th, around the same time as you see your doctor. You mentioned that there may be another hole inside. I hope that is not the case for you...

Ellekl -- Thanks for reading my previous posts. I hope I didn't scare you away from getting the PPH procedure done. It really did work, it was non-invasive and my hemorrhoids haven't returned -- so as far as that goes, I'm really glad I did it. Isn't it funny, though, that my post two years ago was "wondering if anyone had the PPH hemorrhoid removal/staple procedure" and I was worried that it would cause an infection. Go figure -- here I am two years later with my first infection down there. I honestly can't find (on the internet, talking to doctors, reading literature) any correlation between PPH and anal abscess infections/fistulas. I think it was just a fluke that I have this now... but in the back of my mind I still have to wonder. Talk to your doctor, and see what he/she has to say about the two -- I'd love to know.

Colin82 -- Thanks so much for your story. Wow -- 4 procedures in one year. I'm so glad your last surgery went well. Hopefully this will be it for you and you'll be free of fistulas forever!! About the plug -- what can Softball70 and I expect as far as recovery goes? You said it was noninvasive if done correctly. Was it very painful? I didn't know that you couldn't take baths. Sitting in a sitz bath or using the shower head saved me after my procedure a few weeks ago. I'm wondering what I can and cannot do, with the holidays coming up. I plan to take off work for three weeks, but I'm wondering if I can participate in light walking, shopping, sitting, visiting relatives. From your experience with this, what do you think? I also don't want to do anything to make my body reject it. Well, take it easy this week, and heal, heal, heal! You're so lucky you're almost done with this.


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