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Crohn's Disease Forum » Surgery » Fistulas, Fissures and Abscesses » My first abscess :( so scared. Would appreciate some advice.



05-06-2016, 12:47 PM   #1
flutegirl
 
Join Date: May 2016
My first abscess :( so scared. Would appreciate some advice.

Hi everyone.
I don't have Crohns, but have recently developed a perianal abscess. It's not close to the skin (can't see that it's there if you just look), but it's worsened in pain over a week or so. Initially it was just uncomfortable, but for the past three or four days it has been painful. Saw my doc yesterday who put me on antibiotics, and said if it gets worse to go to ER. It's about 3 inches long, I think.
I've basically resigned myself to the fact that it's not going to go away with antibiotics and that I'll need to have it drained - he said it would be incision and drainage surgery? If I have to have it done, so be it - I'm not ashamed and just want to be able to sit down again!

I was wondering if anybody else has had similar abscesses drained? (especially size and depth). I'd like to know roughly how long it took to heal, and how painful the recovery process was. I know from reading around here (which is a goldmine of information and support by the way) the pain from the abscess should normally go as soon as it's been drained. So I am more specifically wondering what pain is like after the surgery, while it's healing from the inside out. Is the pain during this period just during the repacking of the abscess? Or is that a bit optimistic? And do they have to make an incision that's as long as the abscess itself, or can it be drained through a smaller hole?

Thank you very much in advance. Never had something like this before, and I'm really frightened. Doesn't really help that it is happening in the middle of my college finals! I'd really really appreciate some advice <3
05-06-2016, 02:01 PM   #2
Ihurt
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I have not had an anal abscess, but I have had a abscess on my labia just last month. I do know what it is like to have anal pain though since I am having it right now. I just was diagnosed with a possible anal fissure in my anal canal and it is painful.

I know the pain I had with my abscess on my labia so I cannot even imagine the pain your having with one near the anal area. I am so sorry your dealing with this. Is the area warm to the touch or inflamed looking? Is there a hard lump in the area? How did you doctor know it was an abscess if it is not noticeable from just looking?

I will say when I had my abscess on my labia lanced and drained it felt a lot better afterwards. I cannot imagine the pain of having an abscess in the anal area, it must be awful. Is it getting bigger? I guess they can only lance and drain it if it comes to a head. Are you using hot compresses on the area to draw the infection out?














Hi everyone.
I don't have Crohns, but have recently developed a perianal abscess. It's not close to the skin (can't see that it's there if you just look), but it's worsened in pain over a week or so. Initially it was just uncomfortable, but for the past three or four days it has been painful. Saw my doc yesterday who put me on antibiotics, and said if it gets worse to go to ER. It's about 3 inches long, I think.
I've basically resigned myself to the fact that it's not going to go away with antibiotics and that I'll need to have it drained - he said it would be incision and drainage surgery? If I have to have it done, so be it - I'm not ashamed and just want to be able to sit down again!

I was wondering if anybody else has had similar abscesses drained? (especially size and depth). I'd like to know roughly how long it took to heal, and how painful the recovery process was. I know from reading around here (which is a goldmine of information and support by the way) the pain from the abscess should normally go as soon as it's been drained. So I am more specifically wondering what pain is like after the surgery, while it's healing from the inside out. Is the pain during this period just during the repacking of the abscess? Or is that a bit optimistic? And do they have to make an incision that's as long as the abscess itself, or can it be drained through a smaller hole?

Thank you very much in advance. Never had something like this before, and I'm really frightened. Doesn't really help that it is happening in the middle of my college finals! I'd really really appreciate some advice <3
05-06-2016, 02:33 PM   #3
flutegirl
 
Join Date: May 2016
I have not had an anal abscess, but I have had a abscess on my labia just last month. I do know what it is like to have anal pain though since I am having it right now. I just was diagnosed with a possible anal fissure in my anal canal and it is painful.

I know the pain I had with my abscess on my labia so I cannot even imagine the pain your having with one near the anal area. I am so sorry your dealing with this. Is the area warm to the touch or inflamed looking? Is there a hard lump in the area? How did you doctor know it was an abscess if it is not noticeable from just looking?

I will say when I had my abscess on my labia lanced and drained it felt a lot better afterwards. I cannot imagine the pain of having an abscess in the anal area, it must be awful. Is it getting bigger? I guess they can only lance and drain it if it comes to a head. Are you using hot compresses on the area to draw the infection out?

Thanks so much for such a kind and quick reply. I'm sorry you're having issues too!

It is warm to the touch, but doesn't look inflamed. But when you feel it there is a big 3'' hard lump kind of inside my bum cheek, so the doc felt that and immediately said it was an abscess, as I'm having some discharge too though we can't see where from. It's not getting bigger as far as I can tell, but I've been on antibiotics for 36 hours now and I feel no better so I'm quite worried. I've been sleeping with a hot water bottle pressed up against the area but it hasn't drawn it out, though it is soothing. I think because it's more deep than just below my skin it won't burst on it's own - and god knows I don't think I'd want it to as I think there's a lot of fluid in there!

If I do have to have it lanced that's fine, though I am worried about my exams, I'm just really concerned for the pain after lancing while it's healing. I'm not exactly very good with pain anyway (cry when I stub my toe kinda girl!) so I feel really anxious. I've been blessed to never have any health problems of any kind before really, so this is new territory for me. I'm probably getting overly scared for no reason - I don't know how you guys on here cope with this kind of thing all the time <3
05-06-2016, 02:56 PM   #4
Ihurt
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I am so sorry you are suffering. I think if they lance it and drain it, it will feel way better. Are you seeing a colon rectal surgeon to have it lanced? I think they are the ones who really deal with these things. But from everything I Have read, lancing always brings on some relief. Right now there is like pressure build up in there and that is causing the pain. I was told when I had the abscess on my labia that oral antibiotics do not usually work, that it needs to be lanced and drained in order to clear the infection.

Try not to worry( easier said than done, I know I am guilty of it myself). I would keep an eye on it, if it starts to feel worse at all, try and get in to get it lanced. It sounds like it is still hard right now right? I think it has to get to a certain point before they can lance it. Hopefully someone else on here will chime in. Hang in there.













Thanks so much for such a kind and quick reply. I'm sorry you're having issues too!

It is warm to the touch, but doesn't look inflamed. But when you feel it there is a big 3'' hard lump kind of inside my bum cheek, so the doc felt that and immediately said it was an abscess, as I'm having some discharge too though we can't see where from. It's not getting bigger as far as I can tell, but I've been on antibiotics for 36 hours now and I feel no better so I'm quite worried. I've been sleeping with a hot water bottle pressed up against the area but it hasn't drawn it out, though it is soothing. I think because it's more deep than just below my skin it won't burst on it's own - and god knows I don't think I'd want it to as I think there's a lot of fluid in there!

If I do have to have it lanced that's fine, though I am worried about my exams, I'm just really concerned for the pain after lancing while it's healing. I'm not exactly very good with pain anyway (cry when I stub my toe kinda girl!) so I feel really anxious. I've been blessed to never have any health problems of any kind before really, so this is new territory for me. I'm probably getting overly scared for no reason - I don't know how you guys on here cope with this kind of thing all the time <3
05-06-2016, 03:02 PM   #5
AFS
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
flutegirl, The abscess, as uncomfortable as it is, is nothing to fear. It does not matter how deep - or high, if you measure the position of the abscess from the anus along the anal canal - or how big it is; what matters is how the I&D will be performed. It is vital that you go see a CRS, not just some General Surgeon or some ER doctor. A good CRS can drain that abscess such that not only it will not recur and but also it will not go on to form an Anal Fistula. This, seeing a CRS, is so important. Read my story to understand how a GS butchered me up and how I went on to have an Anal Fistula. Also, Anti Biotics are not always useful in a non-Crohn's patient to treat abscess. It may work, but most CRS will not prefer that. So GO SEE A CRS.
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05-14-2016, 04:40 AM   #6
flutegirl
 
Join Date: May 2016
Thanks for the advice guys. I ended up having the surgery Thursday evening under general anaesthetic. I'm in no more pain now than I was before, which is good, however I was discharged with very little information about what to do with packing. I'm probably going to have to go back into the hospital today as I'm not happy leaving it until Monday at my regular Drs like they told me to. That would mean the original packing would be left in for about 60 hours which I think is too long.
Didn't expect it to be this complicated
05-14-2016, 08:47 AM   #7
ronroush7
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In 1992, I had an anal/rectal abscess that the doctor let go for three months. It goy pretty deep. They had to drain it twice. The second time I had to stay in the hospital for a week with medicine given through IV. Not everyone is the same.
05-14-2016, 08:50 AM   #8
ronroush7
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Sending support. Let us know how you are.
05-14-2016, 06:24 PM   #9
AFS
 
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flutegirl, I say the following from my experience. If your abscess is high and involves Sphincter muscle, then the only sure way to drain it is to a poke hole at the abscess from inside the anal canal or rectal pathway. This requires no packing as there is no visible wound on the skin. The abscess drains nicely through the anus. Since you mention packing, I assume they opened up the skin and reached the abscess. That would indicate to me that the abscess was low and no or little Sphincter muscle was involved. You may want to get this clarified. If the abscess was high up, as in my case, cutting open the skin, aka External Opening, to reach and drain the abscess seems like a bad idea. Anyways, please ask your Dr to explain this to you.
05-15-2016, 12:23 PM   #10
flutegirl
 
Join Date: May 2016
Thanks again for your support everyone <3 I did have it externally drained and packed. I have a kinda curved semicircular incision right next to my anus, which is about an inch deep and packed. It seems to have soaked through the external dressings now (had it repacked yesterday), so I think I'm going to have to change them.
My main concern is pooping! The incision is right next to my anus so I'm really worried that when I poop it will be going into the incision and making it nasty and infected I have been to the toilet today and it wasn't painful or anything, but it's kinda hard to clean up when everything is sore, tender, covered in dressings and I've been told not to get it wet down there.

I honestly don't know how you guys cope with these kind of things regularly <3 big love to you all x
05-15-2016, 02:59 PM   #11
Tubes
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From 2002 thru 2006 I got abscesses all the time in 2005 I had one similar to the one your talking about that they would drain but it kept coming back and while it felt better once it was drained after 5 or 6 times of it coming back the next time it burst on its own it felt better than I did when they would lance it and this time it healed nicely and didn't come back.
05-23-2016, 09:36 AM   #12
drewpalermo
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I basically had the same thing you had, several times. First time was when I was about 11 years old. They went in and drained it, and later what eventually helped was packing the fistulas (openings left from the abscesses they drained) with gauze filling, and practically everyday I'd go in for hydrotherapy sessions, unpacking the gauze before and afterwards repacking them. Very painful stuff. Packing open wounds like that. Last time I had an abscess was last year, and it actually popped on its own. It got to be super painful up to that point, even walking from my bedroom to the kitchen was a task, walking around like a penguin. I actually healed those fistulas on my own without any surgery, thank god.

These days I eat a clean, nutritious diet minus most fruit. I really feel it was my diet I stuck with through my last flare that let my fistulas heal on their own
05-25-2016, 05:25 PM   #13
flutegirl
 
Join Date: May 2016
Hey everyone just wanted to check back in and let y'all know how I'm doing. So it's been two weeks since the I&D now, and I'm healing well. It's about 1/2cm deep and the nurses say it looks healthy, so hopefully the daily packing can stop soon! I'm back to normal activity except the daily nurse visits, walking and showering and sitting down as normal which is such a relief. I'm a bit concerned as everything I read says you have a 50% chance of getting a fistula after an abscess which, y'know, I could totally do without! Does anyone know of any magic way of not getting a fistula after an abscess? I'd love to hear it if you do.
Big love to any of you who are struggling right now <3
05-25-2016, 05:49 PM   #14
ronroush7
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Sending support.

06-03-2016, 09:55 AM   #15
danmc
 
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Hey everyone just wanted to check back in and let y'all know how I'm doing. So it's been two weeks since the I&D now, and I'm healing well. It's about 1/2cm deep and the nurses say it looks healthy, so hopefully the daily packing can stop soon! I'm back to normal activity except the daily nurse visits, walking and showering and sitting down as normal which is such a relief. I'm a bit concerned as everything I read says you have a 50% chance of getting a fistula after an abscess which, y'know, I could totally do without! Does anyone know of any magic way of not getting a fistula after an abscess? I'd love to hear it if you do.
Big love to any of you who are struggling right now <3
I think if you came up with a magic way to not get abscesses or fistulas you'd be a millionaire!
06-03-2016, 10:54 AM   #16
AFS
 
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There are certain lifestyle changes a Non-crohn's patient can make to avoid anal abscesses. Fiber-rich diet, stress free living, and avoiding other irritants that cause constipation or upset stomach by listening to your body, are some of such measures. After an abscess, seeing a CRS, as opposed to a General Surgeon, ASAP so that the abscess is drained properly, can certainly increase the chances of avoiding fistula. And, there is a guaranteed surgical cure for fistula in non-IBD patients.
06-17-2016, 11:24 AM   #17
flutegirl
 
Join Date: May 2016
Me again! Not doing so good this time... Today is the 36th day in a row that I've had to go to the nurses to have the packing changed. The wound seems to have stopped healing or doing anything really. It's still healthy looking and isn't infected or anything, it's just really slowed down and doesn't seem to have done much for weeks.
It's fine at the moment as I'm on 'holiday' (at home, but having some time off!), but in a fortnight my entire lifestyle is changing and I have no idea how I'm going to be able to make it to the nurse every single day. I am reasonably confident that if I was taught how, I'd be able to safely pack the abscess myself. Being able to do this even every other day and see the nurse each day in between would be a massive help.

I was wondering if anybody else has ever done this? I don't know how to approach it with my nurse and ask. The wound is only about 1cm deep, and isn't painful whatsoever anymore, so I would really like to give doing it myself a go.. I just need to get a nurse to agree to it.
06-21-2016, 10:19 PM   #18
lgpcarter
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I don't think they will be offended, so no need to worry about asking. I would just say that I would like to be able to do it myself and would they be willing to show me how?

Sorry you are dealing with this, no fun at all.
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Diagnosed in with Crohn's in large and small bowel in 2000.

Seton placement (2) and fistulotomy December 2013. Setons removed July 2014.

Laparoscopic Right Hemicolectomy July 2016, 25 cms removed

Current meds: Entyvio every 4 weeks, Imuran 50 mg, Flagyl and Cipro 500 mg twice a day
Previously: Remicade, Humira, Simponi, Pentasa, Sulphasalazine, Entocort, Stelara, Methotrexate, Prednisone
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