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11-02-2011, 07:25 AM   #1
Del
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Fistula question

How do you know if you have one?
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11-02-2011, 08:40 AM   #2
Cookie
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This is a difficult question to answer. I can't speak for internal fistulas because I have never had one. But if you are asking about external fistulas, the first signs will be passage of gas and drainage (any combination of pus, mucous, blood and stool). My first two fistulas were easy to diagnose because they were vaginal, so the gas and drainage was an obvious sign. However, now I think I may have a peri-anal fistulas because I get a lot of stool drainage, but that could also just a case of weakend sphincter muscles, so I am not sure.

I just stay on the look out for signs of an abscess. Fistuals themselves are not really a problem. Problems arise when it is closed off and you get an abscess (pain and swelling) that can lead to infection. If you suspect you have an abscess, call your doctor.

Hope this helps. Good luck!
11-02-2011, 10:47 AM   #3
IAmTheWalrus
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Perianal Fistula? I have one, and it was diagnosed almost straight away. Constant discharge, although thankfully after having mine drained it's minimal a zero pain.

Also, the second part of Cookies post, I couldn't put it any better.
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28 y/o male from Dublin, Ireland, Dx with Crohn's Colitis in January 09.

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11-02-2011, 02:21 PM   #4
Grumbletum
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Pop over ours for a visit, Del.
http://www.crohnsforum.com/forumdisplay.php?f=76
Ben put together a great guide which is at the top of the forum which might help you.
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Dx Crohn's terminal ileum April 2011
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Previous: Prednisolone, Mesren, Omeprazole, Infliximab, Azathioprine
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11-02-2011, 02:45 PM   #5
bjeffrey
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I have had 2 1/2 fistulas in my past. How did I know? The first fistula attached to my bladder. So I knew something was the matter when I was constantly having UTI and living on Cipro. I knew it was bad when I passed gas and fecal matter through my urethra. I had my 1st surgery to remove the fistula and remove several inches of scarred ileum. There was a 1/2 fistula which did not attach to an organ yet. The 2nd fistula was and anal fistula which i felt pain without any discharge like others had told me. Internal fistulas are hidden and can be detected with MR Enterography or CT scan. However, the best way to detect a fistula is listen to any warning signs your body is giving you.
11-02-2011, 03:12 PM   #6
barmybev
 
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Hi every one of mine starts as really painful abcess and unfortunately then goes into a fistula Bev
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Diagnosed with Crohns 34 yrs.'' ago aged 13 surgery in 93 right Hemicolectomy. had full remission till 2008 had another surgery in 2009 & had a temp stoma. 2010 had stoma reversed back. Then had 4enterocutaneous fistula's. tried Remi & Humira to no avail ended up having surgery again in Jan 13, 4, small bowel resections, gallbladder taken out, Fistulas all removed & given a permenant Ileostomy





I may not be where I need to be but,
I thank God Im not where I use to be
11-02-2011, 03:29 PM   #7
kiny
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Subcutaneous fistula that turn into abscess you can feel, they're protrusions that pop up from under the skin. I decided to be an idiot and poked one open with a needle, inside is just pus and slime, it dries out and cures (don't need to tell anyone how stupid it is to do this I think, I didn't even use a clean needle).

MRI is the most certain way to see internal fistula since they're excellent for soft tissue.
11-02-2011, 04:03 PM   #8
Del
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Thanks everybody...
Thanks Helen for the link...
11-02-2011, 04:33 PM   #9
Grumbletum
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I had an abscess and bowel to bladder fistula and had the UTI problems that you mention, bjeffrey. I had a lot of LRQ and pelvic pain, lost a lot of weight and felt really ill. Must have been a small fistula though, cos it eventually healed on a combination of Pred, Aza and antibiotics.
I'm hoping you don't have one Del, but are you going to the docs to get it checked out?
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