Fistula?

Hellooo! Just wondering if it’s possible to have a fistula after only 6 months after treatment? Something doesn’t feel right down there when I’m pooping or passing wind (sorry tmi). I have an appt with my consultant in a month but I’m unsure if it’s something I should tell someone about sooner x

Hi @OldRed - I developed a fistula about eight months post treatment. There is no mistaking it for something else once you have one. But, I did feel unusual for a few months before it developed. Always best to let your team know anything unusual that you notice.

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Thank so much for your reply. I hope you’re doing well! May I ask if it was picked up on an mri? I don’t think I’m having any scans before my next appointment, so I’m wondering if it’s something the consultant will be able to see during an examination? I’m probably being a drama llama, but something just feels a bit off x

Hi @OldRed, I developed some symptoms of analvaginal fistula 3 months after treatment and I noticed i was passing wind/gas through both holes/ways. Which is a common indication of fistula and occasionally passing feces through the vagina as it can leaked out. It wasn’t picked up on post treatment MRI and I told my consultant and did an internal exam and he said he couldn’t see anything. He ruled it out to be very tiny if it’s there and that I may be better off leaving it alone as the other options for treatment will be having a stoma bag to divert feces. He said if it’s not affecting my quality of life basically just to leave it alone. What symptoms are you having?
As for your question, they would do physical internal exam first and if it’s not visible but if you’re having bothersome symptoms then they’ll send you for a scan. Just wanna send you all the love. Xx

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@Dar8 I’m sorry you’re going through this after all the treatments as well. Can I ask what were your symptoms for this and did they do anything to treat the fistula and try to repair it? Much love to you. Xx

Hi @May17 - I don’t mind sharing here as we are all going through things and understand. My symptoms were quite apparent with both wind and fecal matter passing vaginally. I felt very weak in my pelvic floor and felt a lot of pressure building down below before the fistula formed. Because I also had some damage done by radiation to my bowels we decided that a reversible colostomy would be the best course of action. The hope is by diverting the poop both the fistula and bowels will have a better chance of healing. The surgeon couldn’t stitch up the fistula as the tissues were fused together from radiation. Although the thought of a colostomy (permanent or not) really stressed me out at first, but as I adjust from the surgery I had a few weeks ago, I am so relieved. I already have improved mobility and less pain. I was bed ridden all fall, I can already see a better quality of life and a real chance to heal.

Sorry for the long answer. :relaxed:

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I’m so sorry, you’ve been through so much xxx I’m glad you’re feeling a little better now, and thank you so much for sharing your story. I understand what you mean about pressure, I constantly feel like I need to push something out, from both my bottom and lady bits. And sometimes when I feel I have have wind I start leaking from both areas😳 I’m also very sore all of the time. While I was having treatment the radiologists were concerned that my bowels were always too full, and one of them said I may get some side effects from it. I thought she meant during treatment but I guess she was trying to prepare me for after. Wishing you a speedy recovery, I really hope you’re on the mend soon xxx

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@Dar8 thank you for sharing your story and I’m glad to hear they were able to provide you solution and sorted you out.
Were the symptoms present uncontrollably when you had them? I mean the passing of fecal matter even you’re not going to the bathroom in that sense? I’m sorry if it’s a weird question to ask. But I think the size of the fistula would have impact on how bothersome the symptoms are.
Im glad you’re feeling better. Xx

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Thank you both, there was concern the fistula was due to a recurrence but turns out it wasn’t. I am thankful to have the symptoms under control and now I can start moving forward with my life. Yes, it was a fairly large fistula with uncontrollable and constant symptoms, so the ostomy is the right course of action for me.

Take care both of you! :relaxed::two_hearts:

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