Yet despite their frequency, they still remain a little-discussed symptom of inflammatory bowel disease IBD. Research has shown that fistulas affect up to 50 percent of us living with IBD within 20 years of diagnosis. Depending on the location, symptoms vary — and while some minor fistulas can be treated with antibiotics, many require surgical intervention. This typically involves a fistulotomy , which is a procedure that opens up the fistula to allow it to heal properly. If a fistula is larger, a seton a piece of surgical thread may also be used to help drainage. This is usually straightforward, but the recovery process can take much longer.
Our ongoing commitment to providing outstanding patient care means we are implementing a new electronic patient record system. You may notice our processes take slightly longer than usual, and we apologise if this causes any inconvenience. Thank you for your understanding and patience. Typically, this condition does not heal on its own, so surgery is generally recommended. Without surgery, you can experience unpleasant symptoms and you may have repeated abscesses.
You had an anal fistulotomy. This surgery opens and drains an anal fistula and helps it heal. You may be worried about having a bowel movement after your surgery. You will likely have some pain and bleeding with bowel movements for the first 1 to 2 weeks. You can make your bowel movements less painful by getting enough fibre and fluids, and using stool softeners or laxatives.