This is the last entry in a four-part series on my perianal disease timeline, including the healing after my proctectomy. This post will be updated as I continue to progress with my healing. Part 3 can be found HERE.
5 months since proctectomy and beyond (April 2014 – current)
Healing seems to have slowed down as mid-April hits. The size of the wound hasn’t been changing and I still get discharge throughout the day, so a 2″x2″ gauze pad is still used to cover the wound. While I’ve been able to do everything, including using my stationary bike, having a small wound is still frustrating. The wound looks as if it simply needs to skin-over, but at this point, I don’t know how I can assist it further. I may speak with a WOCN (Wound, ostomy and continence nurse) to see if there are any tricks I can use. Since my next follow-up with my surgeon isn’t until the end of May, there’s still a long way to go before I can hear her thoughts. Perhaps by then, the wound will be closed up.
UPDATE Nov 7, 2015 (2 years post op): Over the summer, my wound has slowly healed, although at some point, I would feel burning and itching down there (heat and humidity, perhaps?). At of Nov, 2015, my wound is pretty much healed, and I don’t use any gauze to collect drainage. On occasion, I do still have bleeding, as if the wound tears, but it’s manageable, and this will likely be as good as it gets.
UPDATE March 11, 2015: A lot has happened over the past several months, and it hasn’t been positive! I had that MRI on Dec 7th, 2014, which you can read about HERE, but the only good news was that there’s no fistula or anything like that going on. Unfortunately, a new wound opened up in December and it’s been sticking around ever since! I’m waiting for a referral to see another surgeon, and hope that something can be done to close this up once and for all. I’ll update again if any significant changes happen.
UPDATE Nov 20, 2014: I went in to see another doctor, since the surgeon who performed my proctectomy is no longer practicing. I went because I’ve been having pains around my rectal area, near the site where my abscesses and fistulas had really created a mess. She suggested that I get an MRI done to see what’s going and said there could be many reasons why I’m having pain, but since my wound still isn’t healed, it may be related to the problems I’m having. I’ll be waiting several weeks to months in order to get in for the test, so until then… I wait.
UPDATE Sept 22, 2014:
There hasn’t been any significant changes in regards to healing. The wound still hasn’t closed up and I still keep a gauze pad on it to keep the draining from staining my underwear. I don’t expect any more healing at this point, but I don’t have immediate plans to get more done to the wound. I’ll likely wait until mid-winter/spring to make a decision.
UPDATE MAY 28, 2014:
I saw my surgeon again today. My hope that the anal wound would be closed up before this appointment has fallen short and I have to either give it more time, or accept that it’ll never fully close up , which means I’ll always have a gauze wedged between my butt cheeks. It was explained that because I had severe perianal disease due to Crohn’s that this is normal, however, if I choose to do something more about it, I do have another option. If I wanted to, I could go back to have the wound crapped with the hopes that it’ll cause new tissue to form and hopefully heal up. Of course, it could do nothing and I’m back to where I am now, so I’ll be giving it more time before a decision is made. In the meantime, she discovered that I still have a very small tunnel going into the wound and some silver nitrate was applied to it. She also told me that she won’t be practicing surgery come July and has accepted a new position in another hospital. It makes me sad that I’ll likely never see her again. She changed my life forever and I’m so grateful to have had her as my surgeon. I do wish her the best of luck.
As promised, here is the healing timeline I’ve put together. I hope that it offers some education value and shows just how successful this surgery can be in fixing the damage caused by severe perianal disease.
DOWNLOAD HERE *GRAPHIC CONTENT* (UPDATED Nov 7, 2015)
(Please note that the color quality may be low when viewed through the browser. Download the full PDF for better quality).