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This is one of those, maybe yes, maybe no situations. These sorts of things can remain dormant for years and years, decades even, then BAM!, infection, pain, misery, etc.

So, I think as long as you feel well, you are well. You can either worry yourself to death about it, or just try to forget about it and go about your life. Believe me, if it decides to act up, it will not be a secret.

I presume you are asking because you are wondering whether it is better to be proactive and continue your treatments with Dr. Shen, or take the wait-and-see approach, hoping you are not inviting worse trouble down the road. Since you have conflicting opinions and could wind up in the poor house if you pursue it now, if I were in your shoes, I'd leave it alone until or if something new happens. I don't think that there is any way to predict how it will go, but since it has been there for years without killing you, it can probably wait.

Jan Smiler
Thanks Jan, I am in agreement with my surgeon and not Shen on this one. I am just going to leave it alone and deal with it if issues arise. But let me ask you, lets say an infection comes about and possible abcess, cant the abcess just be drained and put o n antibiotics for the infection? why does doctor Shen keep talking about major surgery again if issues arise? only issue i have really been dealing with is the cuffitis.
Drainage is a possibility, but it would not solve the problem on a permanent basis. I believe Dr. Shen is referring to major surgery as the option if you are looking to settle this mess once and for all. However, nothing is ever certain with these sorts of things and you never know if the cure might open a new can of worms that is worse than your present issues. That is why my thinking is that is your situation is stable and your symptoms nil, you may as well live with it.

I think that doctors want to fix things, to be responsive to their patients. If you keep coming to their office, complaining about this and that, they are going to assume it is a big deal for you. If it weren't, you would not be there.

The thing is, we are the ones who get to decide what is good enough...

Jan Smiler

This is good advice @Jan Dollar. I know this thread is old and wasn't about me but I'm starting to think less is more when it comes to surgery. Im in the hospital now with a mystery tract that might be a fistula or a sinus and just reading through people's stories to find commonalities and it seems like my team here is doing the conservative approach rather than leaping to conclusions to get me in the OR.

My symptoms have improved somewhat with laxatives and tylenol. And maybe addressing some fluid near my tailbone in some way but surgeons here think another operation would be more risk than benefit.

Did the redo work out? Are you doing well with it?

its been pretty good for the most part.. since the surgery i have very minor intermittent leakage though so always use Ilex and a small pad just in case.. I was told that for a redo there is risk of this due to handstitching instead of stapling for redos and the mucousectomy.. but it was a redo or permanent bag so i will deal with it as its not too bad.

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