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Thread: Colostomy to Heal Anal Fistula?

  1. #1

    Colostomy to Heal Anal Fistula?

    Son, 37, 10 years post injury; C4-5. Has an anal fistula. Seton was put in last year. Fistula seemed to close, 6 months later it is back. Now Colon & Rectal surgeon wants to operate and do a colostomy so the fistula will heal. We are looking for guidance. We know how long it takes for SCI patients to heal and this Dr. does not specialize in SCI. Are we looking at another open wound taking forever to heal? Can the colostomy be reversed after fistula heals? Our son had stablization surgery at Mayo in Rochester, then went to Craig Hospital for 3 months. We are very concerned and challenged by our son's medical issue and are not sure if this is right for him, as he is also not sure and looking to us for guidance. Has anyone experienced this and if so, would you please share? Thank you.

  2. #2
    While it is not ideal to have to have surgery to repair the fissure a second time, to me this seems like a reasonable approach. Given that the fistula opened up in less than a year, it obviously needs some time without any irritation to heal. A colostomy can be reversed successfully - however, your son may find out that he likes it enough to keep it. I know several people who have had it done for different reasons and it was originally temporary, that opted to keep it.

    Given the inexperience of your surgeon with individuals with SCI, you may want to get a second opinion. Most physicians are not going to be upset about this and if they are, it tells you something about them. Just a suggestion.

    The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

  3. #3
    Thank you for responding.

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