Ovarian Cancer Community
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Avatar universal

Has anyone had fistulas heal?

Just curious if any one has had fistulas grow after surgery and then they healed?

I had surgery in Feb that left me with a colostomy (poop bag) - now have 2 fistulas and therfore cannot have colostomy reversed.

Doctor will recheck with scan in October to see if any changes.

Has anyone had fistulas that healed on their own?
6 Responses
282804 tn?1236837191
I am so sorry.  That cannot be comfortable.  If the Dr is looking at scans for some change than I have to think that it can heal on it's own.

I had a bladder fistula develop after my surgery and they said at first that it might heal on it's own, but it didn't. I had to have a Foley catheter for 3 months.  Well, I opted for diapers after one.  The smell of the chemo urine would NOT come out of that plastic.  Anyway, they would not do surgery right away & I had to wait 3 months.  They said for some reason surgery wouldn't take since I was going right into chemo.  Never understood that because they did it two months before I finished chemo.

I hope that there is some change in this or that surgery is an option.  I hope and pray you can have a reversal.  I know what a difference it would make in your life.

Your profile shows you have been on here for a long while now and I am very sorry, but I don't know anything about you.  I would love to know more about you and you should really let us be there for you.  This is a great community and you need support from those of us who know what you are going through.  Please consider doing your profile as a way to introduce you to us.

Good luck honey
107366 tn?1305683975
I had about 12 inches of large intestine removed during surgery, and I ended up with a fistula on the bottom portion just under the area that was resected.  Saw my GI who prescribed Flagyl.  I was on it off an on for a year before it finally healed.  Are you taking any medication for them?  Flagyl can be rough on the system, but for me, it was better than being on an antibiotic and developing resistance to it.  I'd already done that with Cipro for recurrent UTI's.  Is surgery to clean it up an option?  

Wishing you good luck getting it healed so you can get that reversal!  

167426 tn?1254089835
this might be of some help.  if they can reverse the colostomy, couldn't they repair the fistulas at the same time?    just guessing on that.

Most fistulas will close on their own after a period of weeks to months. Depending on the clinical situation, patients may require IV nutrition and a period of time without food to allow the fistula time to close. In some cases, surgery is necessary to remove the segment of intestine if the fistula is not healing.

Outlook (Prognosis)
The prognosis depends on the cause and severity of the fistula and the overall condition of the patient. In most cases, the prognosis is excellent in an otherwise healthy patient.

Avatar universal
I too had the rather unpleasant experience of being left with 2 fistulae after abdominal surgery. The largest one healed over in 10 months-but the other, which was quite small but full of pus after an abscess took over 2 years, so please stay positive, it can happen!
441690 tn?1327082443
My mother was left with one and had several months of real issues with it.  Chemo would cause it to "act up" more...

It's been 8 months and its gotten better.... we anticipate it becoming totally healed within a year mark.  

I know how frustrating this can be. Keep talking with the doctors about possibilites.
340734 tn?1256589862
I never brought up the subject about my fistula on this forum, because I thought I was alone on that.  I had a bladder fistula and NO, it did not heal on it's own.  Needed surgery (twice) to repair it.  If your fistulas are bladder/vaginal related, please send me an email to my login name and I will answer you.  Too much to write here.

If your fistulas are colon/vaginal related, ask your questions to the "ask a doctor" forums under both Gastroenterology and Urogynecology.  It was my fistula that first brought me to this website and my first post was to the doctor at the Urogynecology doctor forum.  He gave great information regarding my situation and I'm sure one of these two DOCTOR forums can give you insight on yours.  Be sure to let them know you have undergone surgery for OC.

After my initial post to this website, I found this community forum.  In a strange way, I'm grateful to my fistula to have led me to find all these wonderful women and the family members of women burdened with OC.  I believe there is a reason for things to happen the way they do.  Did I enjoy having a fistula, no.  But, if it was not for that, I would never have found this website or especially, this community forum as soon as I did.

Sincerely, Angie
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