01-21-2016, 12:22 PM   #1
Join Date: Jan 2016

Hello all, I was told by a surgeon that i have fistula and need a surgery to drain it. I knew nothing about the procedure. I was just relieved to find out what was wrong with me because i had bumps and pain around my behind. I really thought that i would just come in and go through the surgery go home and thats it. Boy I was wrong!!! I did not know about the seton...about the drainage... and the discomfort that it came with after. I had my surgery last Wednesday, Jan. 13. And on Tuesday I saw the surgeon for follow up. All he told me is that he is scheduling me Feb. 3 for surgery to remove the seton. That is only 3 weeks!!! My question is... is that enough time (3 weeks) to remove the seton? I've read somewhere that it's usually 6 weeks or more. What about medication (antibiotics)? All they gave me is pain medication. Nothing to help heal it faster. The seton that i have was long and it's a straw like material. It was touching my underwear when i was walking. So it gets pushed up towards my behind causing me some pain. So at my follow up, i had the doctor cut it short and that made alot of difference. I could walk straight now with little or no pain. What about pads or gauze? What is recommended to use for the drainage? I have so much questions. The most important ones right now are the 3 weeks removal of the seton and should i be taking some medication (antibiotics) to help it heal faster? Thank you all.
01-23-2016, 11:34 AM   #2
CarlyL's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Manchester, United Kingdom
Hello there, they don't tell you much the surgeons as you have found out.

I have had three setons placed and never have I been given antibiotics. The idea being that the wound is open and will continue to drain so there will be no build up for the anti-biotics to treat.

If you are in pain my surgeon recommends paracetamol and ibuprofen, two of each every four hours to help my pain. If it worsens I take codeine.

The surgeon knows best and in three weeks he/she will see where you are up to with healing and decide to take it out or keep it in (this is called EUA Examination Under Anaesthetic)

My setons have all been in at least four months before any further surgery is attempted but I do not have crohns, I just have a perianal fistula.

For drainage and comfort I would recommend either a 5cm x5cm gauze like melolin or cotton wool flat pads to keep in your underwear to catch any drainage.

I hope this answers your questions and trust that your surgeon is doing the right thing for you, as mine told me every single fistula is very different. And although we have common similarities the surgeon may deal with one fistula very differently to another.

Kind regards, Carly :-)
01-23-2016, 10:43 PM   #3
Senior Member
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Canada

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I was given Flagyl after my seton placement but also had a fistulotomy so maybe that was the difference?

Mine was in from 7 months. 3 weeks seems really short to me - I would definitely ask about this. It does get better! They really helped me and I have much less pain and drainage now. No, still not perfect.

I used gauze pads from the first aid aisle and folded them in half and stuffed them in my crack to catch the drainage. I also used pads and/or pads liners as necessary. I like the Target brand best and was super sad when they went out of business in Canada!
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
01-24-2016, 02:22 AM   #4
Senior Member
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: los angeles area
Best thing to use in my opinion is womens like maxi pads, the ones with the adhesive backing. I wear boxer briefs and it worked really well for me, i would carry spares with me or change it multiple times a day depending on how bad it was draining. The drsining should calm down a binch after 2 - 3 weeks. And yes 3 weeks seems awfully short. Antibiotics arent ised to heal them, usually the are surgically removed or, something like humira or remicade is administered and is supposed to aid in healing this things. I have never had the strawlike one, both of my setons have been of the rubberband type, one just had a knot, and this one i have at the moment is more like a braided bunch of knots . And any questions you have, freakin write them down and make sure you bring and ask them all to your dr or surgeon. Dont be scared or embarrassed as its your ass, pun intended.
Wishing you the best of luck. Take care.
01-29-2016, 06:58 PM   #5
Join Date: Jan 2016
Thank you for all of the advices. Update...it's been 16 days since i had my seton. Still getting drainage but noticeably much less than before. Not much pain when i have to go use the washroom. And no more bleeding for 3 days now. I guess you can say that i am getting used to this. I am much more comfortable now than the first week. The only discomfort i feel now is when i sit down. It does hurt a little bit because i do feel that knot down there. Well, i do have a surgery coming up this wednesday to remove the seton (exactly 3 weeks). I'm just hoping and praying that everything will come out fine and that this thing will heal and never come back. Thank you all for the advice and i will post update about my current situation.
01-30-2016, 02:52 AM   #6
fuzzy butterfly
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Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: manchester, United Kingdom

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Glad to hear you are more comfortable now. Hope all goes well on wednesday for you . Best wishes 💕

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