Anal Fistula

Anal fistula is a chronic abnormal communication between the epithelialised surface of the anal canal and usually the perianal skin. An anal fistula can be described as a narrow tunnel with its internal opening in the anal canal and its external opening in the skin near the anus. Anal fistulae commonly occur in people with a history of anal abscesses. They can form when anal abscesses do not heal properly.

Surgery is usually required to treat anal fistula.

Anal fistulae originate from the anal glands, which are located between the internal and external anal sphincter and drain into the anal canal. If the outlet of these glands becomes blocked, an abscess can form which can eventually extend to the skin surface. The tract formed by this process is a fistula. Abscesses can recur if the fistula seals over, allowing the accumulation of pus. It can then extend to the surface again – repeating the process.

Anal fistulae per se do not generally harm, but can be very painful, and can be irritating because of the drainage of pus (it is also possible for formed stools to be passed through the fistula). Additionally, recurrent abscesses may lead to significant short term morbidity from pain and, importantly, create a starting point for systemic infection.

Treatment, in the form of surgery, is considered essential to allow drainage and prevent infection. Repair of the fistula itself is considered an elective procedure which many patients opt for due to the discomfort and inconvenience associated with an actively draining fistula.

Signs and Symptoms

Anal fistulae can present with the following symptoms

How is an anal fistula diagnosed?

Your doctor can usually diagnose an anal fistula by examining the area around the anus. He or she will look for an opening (the fistula tract) on the skin. The doctor will then try to determine how deep the tract is, and the direction in which it is going. In many cases, there will be drainage from the external opening.

Some fistulas may not be visible on the skin’s surface. In this case, your physician may need to perform additional tests:

What are the treatments for an anal fistula?

Surgery is almost always necessary to cure an anal fistula. The surgery is performed by a colon and rectal surgeon. The goal of the surgery is a balance between getting rid of the fistula while protecting the anal sphincter muscles, which could cause incontinence if damaged.

Fistulas in which there is no or little sphincter muscle involved are treated with a fistulotomy. In this procedure, the skin and muscle over the tunnel are cut open to convert it from a tunnel to an open groove. This allows the fistula tract to heal from the bottom up.

In the case of a more complex fistula, the surgeon may have to place a special drain called a seton, which remains in place for at least 6 weeks. After a seton is placed, a second operation is almost always performed:

A new treatment for Crohn’s disease fistulas is to inject stem cells into the fistula. Your colorectal surgeon will discuss all of your options before the surgery.

A new treatment for Crohn’s disease fistulas is to inject stem cells into the fistula. Your colorectal surgeon will discuss all of your options before the surgery.

Fistula surgery is usually done on an outpatient basis, which means the patient can go home the same day. Patients who have very large or deep fistula tunnels may have to stay in the hospital for a short time after the surgery. Some fistulas may require several operations to get rid of the fistula.

Precautions that help reduce the risk of complications

You can reduce the risk of certain complications by sticking to your treatment plan and the following tips.

Is any follow-up treatment necessary for an anal fistula?

Most fistulas respond well to surgery. After the surgery, your surgeon may recommend that you soak the affected area in a warm bath, known as a sitz bath, and that you take stool softeners or laxatives for a week.

Since you may also have some pain or discomfort in the area after surgery, your physician will usually inject local anesthetic such as lidocaine to decrease your discomfort, and may prescribe pain pills. If opioids are prescribed, they are usually used for a very short period.

If the abscess and fistula are treated properly and heal, they will probably not come back.

Doctors & Hospitals

Recommended Hospitals

...

Manipal hospital, New Delhi

...

Venkateshwar Hospital, Delhi

...

BLK Super Specialty Hospital, New Delhi

If a fistula is found, your physician may also want to do further tests to see if the condition is related to Crohn’s disease, an inflammatory disease of the intestine. About 25% of people with Crohn’s disease develop fistulas. Among these studies are blood tests, X-rays and colonoscopy. A colonoscopy is a procedure in which a flexible, lighted instrument is inserted into the colon via the anus. It is performed under conscious sedation, a type of light anesthetic.

Get a consultation now

Call us at +91 8800845946
or email care@vrozarthealth.com

about us

Take a step towards your healing with VROZART Health.

Translate »
PHP Code Snippets Powered By : XYZScripts.com