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Is it safe to keep the wound open without dressing after fistula surgery?

Q: I am a 63 years old retired male and am suffering from fistula for the last 30 years. A few days back, a large boil formed. I consulted a doctor, who asked me to undergo a surgery. The surgery was performed three days back. What are the chances of permanent cure? Now, the problem is about healing of the wound. I have to change dressing every time I go to toilet. Can I keep the wound bare without dressing? When would the wound get healed?

A:After surgery about 80% of fistulas will be permanently cured. a fifth will recur. Typically, the excised fistula is left open to heal. During this time you will need a dressing. Keep the wound clean, by washing regularly (at least once/day with plenty of tap water; twice a day is even better). You need a dressing mainly to prevent your clothes from getting soiled by the open wound. It should heal in less than four weeks after the operation.

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