Successful Fistula Repair and Recovery: Surgery Update and Recovery Progress

Jul 10, 2020 2:25 am

Had my fistula surgery today. I didn't get to talk to my doc, but my mom did. Apparently all went well. My surgeon found a staple from my original ileostomy surgery and suspects it was the cause of my fistula. He also sent off a specimen to pathology. As a stage IV cancer survivor, that makes me nervous. However, I don't know if that's SOP. I'm settled in a room now and will only be here a few days, unless the weekend slows everything down. I am seeing an ostomy nurse tomorrow, just so she can take a look at it. I'm also going to change the bag myself tomorrow with a nurse as an extra set of hands. The hospital put on a bulky two-piece and I wear a one-piece. The two-piece just has so much hard plastic, whereas I use the soft Coloplast Sensura Mio light convex. The doc disconnected my intestine from my abdomen, resected the intestine below the fistula, and then was able to craft a new stoma in the same site. So no new scars! I'm in some pain but it's way easier than my previous surgeries. Hopefully all continues to go well.

Jul 10, 2020 3:29 am

Thanks for the update, glad everything is going well for you. Stay safe and best wishes

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Jul 10, 2020 10:56 am

Best wishes for a speedy recovery :)

Past Member
Jul 10, 2020 1:04 pm

So glad to hear that everything went well. A staple! Good grief! Yes, I believe it is SOP to send specimens to pathology as a precaution. I know it's hard not to worry, but try not to dwell on it. Focus on getting well enough to be discharged from the hospital. The worst is behind you now. All the best.


ron in mich
Jul 10, 2020 1:23 pm

Hi Inspired, that's good news that you're not having much pain. When I had resection surgery 2 years ago, the surgeon on his morning visit asked how often I changed my pouch and wafer. I said usually the morning of the fourth day, but I think he wanted to check out his handiwork. So, he came back in the evening of the second day, and with a nurse standing by, he did my change. It was kinda neat to watch a surgeon in action as he cut the hole in the wafer to the size of my stoma and him washing around it and checking the stitches. The nurse got a chuckle when I mentioned not to pull the wafer off like a bandaid as that's hard on the skin, but that you pull the skin away from the wafer after you get it started coming off. Good luck with your recovery.

Words of Encouragement from Ostomy Advocates I Hollister
Jul 10, 2020 2:11 pm

Thanks! I'm having low blood pressure issues since surgery yesterday. My normal is around 110/60. Even in my two big surgeries, I didn't have blood pressure issues. Overnight and this morning, lying in bed it would be in the mid 80's over 60ish. Even getting up and sitting on the bed wouldn't get it to crack 100. Even lying in bed, I'm dizzy. I'm drinking plenty. My nurse is hoping that getting up and moving will help raise my blood pressure but I am concerned. They don't currently have me on fluids (but that's about to change). nbsp

I'm also going to see the ostomy nurse today so she can take a look at the stoma. We'll also change the bag then too. I'm glad for that, as I'm wearing a bulky two-piece that's digging into me. I'm definitely not a two-piece person. nbsp

Morning glory
Jul 10, 2020 4:15 pm

Great news. I hope you continue to have a speedy recovery.

Jul 10, 2020 7:12 pm

I hope they will get your BP back up soon and you can get to go home. Hang in there and keep good thoughts. Best wishes and stay safe.

Jul 10, 2020 8:10 pm

After my half liter of fluids, my BP went up to 112/55. I haven't had my BP checked in a few hours, so we'll see if it stays where it should be.  

Jul 11, 2020 3:26 pm

Well, the hope had been to go home today, but that's not going to happen. I'm still pretty dizzy and my BP is still wildly up and down. I also had more than 2 liters of output yesterday and the doc won't let me go home with that kind of output. Pharmacy screwed up when I arrived and didn't put in the computer that I take both Metamucil and Imodium at home. The surgeon working the weekend for my own doc has now ordered both twice a day. Hopefully we'll get it figured out today so I can go home tomorrow.  

Past Member
Jul 11, 2020 4:33 pm

Oh no! Sorry to hear this. Hope they will be able to get a handle on things so you can go home tomorrow.


Jul 11, 2020 9:16 pm

Hope they can get things under control so you can go home. Keep us updated as you feel like it. Best wishes and stay safe.

Jul 12, 2020 4:24 pm

It's Sunday and I'm still in the hospital. The holdup seems to be my ostomy output. It's putting out too much and making me dehydrated, which sends my blood pressure crashing. The top number for me should be around 115, but instead it's been under 100. Overnight it was fine and normal, but by 8am it was down to 90. It took two bags of fluid this morning to raise it back to the triple digits. So there's no going home for me until my output slows enough for me to be able to manage the fluid balance at home. I've also been pretty dizzy through this and it feels like I'm thinking through molasses. We're also playing with my meds since they can also contribute to my BP issues. Hopefully we can find the right balance, but I'd say it's 50/50 whether I get to go home tomorrow.

Past Member
Jul 12, 2020 5:03 pm

Inspired, you really know how to have a good time! I'm sorry to hear that you're stuck in the hospital still, but glad to know that you have access to the internet. YouTube is going to be your friend for a while. Keep reminding yourself that this will eventually pass, and you will be home when it does.


Jul 12, 2020 8:30 pm

I know you are ready to get home. Hope it won't be much longer. Best wishes and stay safe and strong.

Jul 14, 2020 2:14 am

It's now Monday night and I'm still in the hospital. However, my blood pressure has been better today. It's still on the low side, but has stayed in the triple digits all day. The dizziness and muddled thinking have been considerably better today as well. I've been paying closer attention to exactly how much output I've had today and it wasn't as much as it has been. It wouldn't surprise me if I get to go home tomorrow!

Undoubtedly, I'll be going home on pain meds. For all that they didn't do much, I'm definitely having pain. All in all, my docs think I'm just one of those people whose bowels go nuts at the slightest surgical intervention. Just my luck. But now we know. nbsp

Past Member
Jul 14, 2020 1:05 pm

It sounds like progress is being made, even if it's slow. That's good. Keeping my fingers crossed that you'll be able to go home soon. I hope you have someone who can help you while you're convalescing at home.


Jul 15, 2020 6:47 pm

Great news. I've had a fistula for four years now and there does not seem to be any way to fix it without surgery which is not worth it. I don't know why they can't do it laparoscopically. Best to you.

Jul 15, 2020 11:26 pm

Well, after looking like I was being discharged today, my BP did another dip big enough to concern my docs. I was also dizzy and I've had increased output again. My BP had finally been stable for about 18 hours. So far I've had almost 100oz to drink and my docs want me to keep going. It's all been juice, milk, or G2 Gatorade (all okayed by my docs). I'm on 4 doses of Imodium a day and two doses of powdered Metamucil a day. My high was 2 liters of output on Friday and this morning my surgeon was finally happy with my output. *Sigh* and then my stupid BP threw a wrench in it. My BP normally is 115/60ish, but since surgery the top number has struggled mightily to crack triple digits and even when it has, it's not usually been close to my usual. However, yesterday/early this morning my BP was where it was supposed to be.

Seriously, why can't I do anything the easy way?

Past Member
Jul 16, 2020 12:47 am

Yeah, it is frustrating to say the least. But it does sound like things are moving in the right direction, albeit incredibly slowly. Just keep reminding yourself that this will eventually get resolved, and then you'll be home. I guess this is why people in the hospital are called patients! OK, bad joke. I'll let myself out now. Hang in there, Inspired.


Jul 18, 2020 8:54 pm

Well, it had looked like I was going home today. Pain was well controlled on oral meds after a rough transition on Thursday. My blood pressure was under control and my output was good enough to go home. Unfortunately, my output is through the roof again. My ostomy team wants to see my output as between 1000 and 1200ml. Yesterday it was at 2400ml. So I'm not going anywhere until Monday, and beyond that, not until my output gets under control again. I was all set to go home today when surgery came in and completely burst my bubble. So now who knows when I'm leaving. nbsp