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Does anyone have a fistula

gerryo's picture
Posts: 50
Joined: Jun 2010

My husband developed an entercutaneous fistula after his surgery last August 25. He is stage 4 with mets to liver and lungs. He started chemo last April and his pet scan from last week was encouraging. His biggest problem is the fistula. Does anyone have one or had one and can give us some insight. He cannot have the surgery to repair it. Doc said he would not make it off the table. I don't understand have stool can come out if he is eating very little. Anyone with some info will be appreciated.

Lovekitties's picture
Posts: 3355
Joined: Jan 2010

I am assuming that it is an anal fistula.

I would suggest that you get a second opinion from a gastro surgeon regarding repair. There may be some alternatives.

Some fistulas can close on their own, but some require surgery.

If surgery is required and not possible at this time, perhaps a dietitian can provide some assistance regarding diet. It is important to keep up his health and that is not probable if he is eating very little.

Best wishes to you both,

Marie who loves kitties

Dog Girl
Posts: 100
Joined: Sep 2010

Hi, I am over from the Anal Cancer site. This is the first time I've ventured over to the Colon Cancer site, but I can give you my experience with my fistula. I am 27 months post treatment and my fistula is probably from radiation damage to the area. (Anal cancer treatment is very intense and can be brutal, but it is quick at least, usually 5-6 weeks of active treatment; 25-30 something days of radiation and two concurrent rounds of week long chemo; mitomyacin (infusion) and 5 FU via a pump for 4-5 days. Surgery is no longer the first option for treatment.) I hope I am not too blunt for this site. We tend to tell it how it is on our site because anal cancer is so rare and there are limited resources and you can imagine our issues. I wish the anal canal site had been up when I was going through treatment in 2009.

Is your husband's biggest issue leakage or discomfort/itching/blood? If it is leakage, even if he is not eating much, his body will still produce stool so you may want to go with a fiber supplement to bulk up his stools somewhat. I tend to have more leakage when I have looser bowels. If it is discomfort/itching/blood, tell him to blot himself after a BM more than wipe, and he can cleanse himself at the end (no pun intended) with a wet baby wipe. I also swear by Aquaphor. It is similar to vaseline jelly, but not as greasy. The big jar is around $15 at Target/Walmart and I always keep a small squeeze tube in my purse along with a travel size pkg of baby wipes. It works for me for the itching. Also usually after my fistula "pops" and I get a lot of bright red blood, the discomfort eases somewhat as well.

Best of luck to your husband and yourself and to all of us that have fought or are still fighting the good fight. Peace and healing to all.

gerryo's picture
Posts: 50
Joined: Jun 2010

I guess I should have stated it is a enterocutenous fistula. Small intestine to skin. But some of your suggestions can work in his case. Just don't know what to give him to bulk up his BM's. He cannot eat anything high fiber. Just seem to be going around in circles. Surgery to close it is not an option. Thanks for your input.

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