Here is a little background info on me. I had a rectovaginal fistula that prevented me from having my ileostomy reversed last year. Stool and gas was leaking from my vagina as well as my anus. I had two different surgeries in attempt to fix it. The surgery I had February of this year fixed it. I had takedown May 31 of this year.

It's not July and out of nowhere, yesterday I started passing gas through my vagina as well as my anus. I immediately started freaking out. Throughout the day, I started noticing some brown discharge, automatically assuming it was stool. My vagina became irritated but not as bad as I remember it being last year when it happened. Now I take birth control and this is the week of my period but I am done bleeding and have been since the middle of the week. Sometimes I get brown discharge right after my period so it might be that. BUT it looks like there might be some pieces of loose stool in there too. I don't know.

I immediately saw my surgeon this morning and he did an exam himself and felt through my anus and my vagina and didn't feel the fistula. He wants me to see how I do through the weekend and let him know on Tuesday. If it continues then I will have to get another pouch test done and perhaps see the urogynocologist that did the surgery that fixed the fistula.

One thing that stood out was that my surgeon said he has had female patients come to him after takedown saying that they are passing gas through their vagina. Has this happened to anyone after takedown?? I am trying not to jump to conclusions but this has NEVER happened to me and it's weird and I am automatically assuming FISTULA. Any input would be great. Thanks!

-Caitlin
Original Post
Hi Cate,
I am so sorry to hear you are having fistula woes, yet again. Do you think it's the same fistula or a new one? What type of repair did you have, or did you have two different types? I recently had a fistula repair and opted for a temp ileo, which I just had reversed a little over a week ago. Maybe it's time for a second opinion/new surgeon? Have you had other symptoms? I know it is not uncommon to have a new diagnosis of Crohn's after recurrent fistula's. Wasn't sure if your gastro/surgeon brought this up. . .

Best of luck and keep us posted.

—Colleen
I had two surgeries to fix the fistula. I had a transanal repair that didn't work and a transvaginal repair that did work. I had two other second opinions when I had the fistula. I don't know if it's the same or a new one. I'm calling Monday to schedule a pouch study. I might just opt for the ostomy for awhile. I'm starting grad school in September and I don't want to keep postponing my life for a damn fistula. I've had 7 surgeries with a year and a few months. I can't handle much more at this point. I need a break. I don't want the ostomy again but I know it's not the end of the world.
You have had quite a time of it. I feel awful for you. I don't blame you for wanting to go back to the ostomy. If you can be healthy and happy with it, then it's worth it, especially if you will be starting grad school soon. I went back to one after 10 years of having a happy pouch and I never felt better. Good luck with the pouch study, I hope you get good news.

Best,

Colleen
cate.. I'm so sorry to read about your ordeal. You could opt for a diverting ileostomy which would possibly allow for your fistula to heal but more importantly could get you back your quality of life and get you onto a good start with grad school. I was very quickly recovered after my jpouch was disconnected with a diverting ileostomy. I think I was back to work full time in 3 weeks from surgery date.
cate.. with diverting they leave the jpouch inside you and just bypass it with the ileostomy. Sounds like maybe thats what you had before. Permanant one is when the remove the entire jpouch. I'm wondering that even if they did a diverting one before and fistula didn't heal, can they still do it again right now just so you can start living your life and get you a good start with grad school?

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