Crohn's Disease Forum » Surgery » Fistulas, Fissures and Abscesses » Cutting Seton- what does it feel like?

03-12-2016, 03:55 AM   #1
CarlyL's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Manchester, United Kingdom
Cutting Seton- what does it feel like?

Hello to any one who is reading this and in a similar situation to me. Sending you all support and healing thoughts.

I am approaching my third year of suffering with my perianal fistula. I have had 3 loose setons, fistula plug, LIFT and partial fistulotomy. As you can see my surgeon has tried everything and now we are on the last option. (He said it won't grow out on its own so we have to help the process along with the cutting seton)

I am lucky in that my fistula is now around 1cm from the surface which is huge progress (initial abscess was 17cm deep) however the fistula is still going through part of the external Sphincter.

What I would like to know from anyone who has had or has the cutting seton is;

a description of the pain or feeling after surgery.

how quickly you were up on your feet again?

is drainage any different to before?
(Based on the assumption that you have had a loose seton prior to the cutting seton)

Any other advice or information would be greatly appreciated.

My surgeon said it will be quite painful for 1-2 weeks

Many thanks in advance,

Yours hopefully, Carly :-)
06-04-2016, 08:17 AM   #2
CarlyL's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Manchester, United Kingdom
I find it amazing that 1,234 people read this and only one sent support (Thanks Jennifer) and no one replied- thanks guys!? :-(

Update anyway for those of you who are interested;

I woke from surgery to hear that I had not been given the cutting/tightening seton. This was due to the fact that the seton had done its job and because I against everyone's advice went back to zumba and exercised way more than I had done for three years the seton worked its way through the remaining part of the sphincter muscle!!!

So I woke up to find nothing but my anus down there. Okay there was a crater of a hole but no pain immediately just a little achy. Before the nurse even told me what they had done I knew this was a good sign.

So I am now 6 weeks post operation- I only had 2 weeks of work and to be honest I could have coped with just 1 really. Drainage was minimal and has now stopped, it was cut in a three fold kind of way. The surgeon literally cut out the chunk of the remaining tract of the fistula and cauterised where it was. With a magnifying mirror I can see where the tract was and it was a deep one. Now its taking its time to heal but there is no pain- I only needed pain killers for three days after surgery and that was mainly to combat any swelling.

The only pain I have now is down to my sacroiliac joint which I seemed to have damaged in my three years of holding myself funny. But Physio should help with that!!

So Hopefully this is the end of my three year battle and my seven surgeries. Any questions please ask. I can report I can, after three years sit on both bum cheeks equally again and I honestly have a new lease of life :-)

Wishing all you suffering the best- be patient and be persistent with your surgeons and my advise after 7 surgeries- SETON all the way, don't bother wasting time with anything else. You can live a pretty normal life with the seton and eventually it will work its way out. If mine re-occurs I know that will be my pathway. Good luck all xxx

Last edited by CarlyL; 06-04-2016 at 08:18 AM. Reason: typo
06-08-2016, 05:20 AM   #3
danmc's Avatar
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Rochester, New York
That's a great story with a positive outcome.

I have a fistula too, but nowhere near as complex as yours. Superficial so didn't need a seton, but still hasn't healed after months.

Thanks for sharing!
06-12-2016, 05:44 PM   #4
Jennifer's Avatar
Hi CarlyL. I'm glad that your surgery went well and thank you so much for updating even though you hadn't received any replies. Your post will help others in the future who may be facing a similar procedure. If members don't have any experience with a particular procedure then they won't reply and wait for others to reply who may know. Unfortunately sometimes that means threads fall down the page and people don't see it.

Again I'm glad that it went well and I hope it won't return. Thank you again for sharing your experience.
Diagnosis: Crohn's in 1991 at age 9
Surgeries: 1 Small Bowel Resection in 1999; Central IV in 1991-92
Meds for CD: 6MP 75mg
Things I take: Tenormin 25mg (PVCs and Tachycardia), Junel (endometriosis), Tylenol 3 (Osteoarthritis), Zantac 150mg 2/day (acid reflux), Klonopin 1mg (Panic Disorder), Imitrex 25mg (migraines), Zofran 8mg (nausea)
Currently in: REMISSION Thought it was a flare but it's just scar tissue from my resection. Dealing with a stricture. Remission from my resection, 19 years and counting.

Crohn's Disease Forum » Surgery » Fistulas, Fissures and Abscesses » Cutting Seton- what does it feel like?
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