Rectal fistula surgery: recovery

rectal fistula surgery recovery

After having surgery to eliminate a rectal fistula, you should have the ability to move and drink and eat after the effects of the anaesthetic painkilling medication have actually subsided.

Recovering after a rectal fistula

Recovery time

If the fistula is relatively simple to operate on, you might have the ability to go home on the same day as the surgery. Nevertheless, if the fistula is complexed, you might have to remain in healthcare facility for a few days or have even more surgery to complete the procedure.

Caring for the wound

After the operation you will need to wear a dressing over the surgical cut up until the wound has healed. Your dressings will need to be altered regularly and you will typically be demonstrated how to do this in your home.

However, you might need to visit the healthcare facility or GP surgery so they can inspect how the wound is recovery or change the dressing for you. The majority of wounds take around 6 weeks to heal.

There might be some bleeding or a discharge from the injury for the first couple of weeks, especially the very first time you have a bath or go to the toilet.

You may wish to wear a pad, such as a hygienic towel, inside your underclothing to prevent staining your clothing. This recommendations applies to both males and females.

You ought to see your GP if you have:

  • heavy bleeding
  • increasing pain, inflammation, swelling or discharge
  • a high temperature of 38ºC (100.4 ºF) or over
  • queasiness (feeling sick) or vomiting
  • constipation– being not able to empty your bowels for more than three days, regardless of using a laxative
  • difficulty passing urine


The following tips might assist keep the area around the fistula clean and prevent infection or inflammation:

  • usage warm water and cotton wool to clean the skin, instead of a towel or sponge– pat the skin dry instead of rubbing it, or use a hairdryer on a low setting
  • avoid scented items and baby powder as these can aggravate the skin around the fistula
  • you may be prescribed an obstacle cream, which can be applied to stop irritants reaching the skin


Painkilling medication

After the anaesthetic has actually subsided, you might have to take some discomfort relief medication.
Non-prescription pain relievers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen can generally be utilized, although you need to check with your cosmetic surgeon prior to utilizing them. Constantly read the manufacturer’s guidelines.

A 15-minute bath may likewise help reduce the pain. The bath water must be as warm as you can easily sit in.


Laxatives are a kind of medication that can help you clear your bowels. You might be recommended laxatives making it simpler for you to go to the toilet after your operation.


You may be prescribed prescription antibiotics (medication to treat infections caused by germs) to take in the past and after surgery. These will help in reducing the threat of an infection. If you are prescribed prescription antibiotics, make certain you complete the course.


You may require rest for a couple of days after your operation, however you ought to avoid sitting still for a long period of time. Also prevent doing excessive walking.

When you are resting, the following ideas may help make you more comfortable:

  • wear loose-fitting clothing and underclothing
  • lie on your side when on the sofa or in bed
  • pillows or cushions may assist make sitting more comfortable – some pharmacies offer cushions created to relieve pressure when sitting

Going back to regular activities

You can return to work and begin to do some gentle exercise when you feel able to.

Ask your surgeon for advice on when you can drive again. This is generally after a minimum of 48 hours.

You ought to not go swimming up until the injury has totally recovered.


Updated: August 5, 2016 — 11:32 am

The Author

Reyus Mammadli

Healthy lifestyle advisor. Bachelor Degree of Medical Equipment and Electronics.
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