12-16-2013, 02:18 PM   #1
grayk's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Houston, Texas

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Seton Drain Advice?


I recently had two seton drains put in for a fistula. I am having a hard time adjusting to the change. They are uncomfortable, and I am finding it difficult to keep them clean. I also feel like my Crohn's symptoms are worsening, but maybe I'm just being paranoid. I would love to hear any advice you may have.

12-16-2013, 02:27 PM   #2
ey218's Avatar
I'm 3 weeks into my seton. It has become more comfortable. However, it's obviously not ideal. I'm back at work, though and able to sit for the most part. It does get better. I can't comment on the increase in the Crohn's symptoms, as I've just been diagnosed and have no baseline to reference. I'm not on medication yet so I have no idea what "normal" is. I wish you the best, and hope you get some relief soon.
12-16-2013, 02:40 PM   #3
grayk's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Houston, Texas

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Glad to hear that it gets more comfortable. Good luck with your Crohn's, and thank you for sharing.
12-16-2013, 06:34 PM   #4
QueenFox's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

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Hi grayk,

When I had 3 setons initially put in place for fistulas it did take a while to adjust to them. I found some relief in epsom salt baths, recommended twice daily. Also when I went back to work I made sure to have a proper therapeutic donut cushion.

If you are still having troubles discuss with your surgeon - mine made some corrections to the setons which made them a whole lot more pleasant (though it was a day surgery procedure). If you find the skin is irritated nearby due to leakage or friction caused by setons rubbing the skin etc, I use calmoseptine cream on the surrounding skin.

To keep the sites clean - wet wipes, epsom salt baths, portable bidet, disposable pads/gauze, barrier cream all work well - also keep a travel mirror handy to check the sites if they are in a hard to see area.

Take care and please talk to your doctor if things don't seem to get better - the sooner things are treated the sooner you will feel better
12-16-2013, 06:40 PM   #5
Senior Member
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Canada

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No advice, just sympathy. Heading in tomorrow to get at least one seton and have one or two fistulotomies done.
Diagnosed in with Crohn's in large and small bowel in 2000. Fistulas followed soon after.

Seton placement (2) and fistulotomy December 2013. Setons removed July 2014. 3 more setons June 2018.

Laparoscopic Right Hemicolectomy July 2016, 25 cms removed

Current meds: Humira, Entyvio every 4 weeks, Levofloxacin 750 mg, Vitamin D

Previously: Remicade, Simponi, Pentasa, Sulphasalazine, Entocort, Stelara, Methotrexate, Prednisone, Imuran
12-16-2013, 07:07 PM   #6
nogutsnoglory's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: New York

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You do adjust over time but I was so uncomfortable that I ended up getting smaller setons placed after the big ones were in long enough to drain a lot. You may be able to get them switched out but in the mean time sitz baths, and finding a good donut or cushion to sit on will help.
12-22-2013, 07:08 PM   #7
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Sailorluna's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Coon Rapids, Minnesota

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Hi Gray,
Have you tried sitting on a heating pad? It is my go to for fistula pain relief.
Sometime the knot in the fistula can rub a bad spot too. Occasionally people talk about slowly rotating the fistula in a hot bath by rubbing the seton gently in one direction.

Symptoms since 98
Resection and diagnosis June 2010
3 fistulas
abscess drained 6 times (so far...)
currently 2 seton in place 1 since 9/11 the other 4/14
1 strange small air pocket with an 8 cm sinus track leading into the great unknown
methotrexate weekly
folic acid
2 lomotil
2 Welchol
B12 injections (monthly)

Goodbye Humira
Goodbye Cimzia
Goodbye Azathiprine

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