An anal fistula is a small tunnel that connects an abscess, an infected cavity in the anus, to an opening on the skin around the anus.
Diagnosis And Test
Some fistulas may not be visible on the skin’s surface. In this case, your Surgeon may need to perform additional tests:
Management and Treatment
Surgery is always necessary to cure an anal fistula.
- 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 always performed:
- Laser Fistula surgery can be performed for uncomplicated fistula
- 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.
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 Surgeon will usually inject local anaesthetic such as lidocaine to decrease your discomfort and may prescribe pain pills. If the abscess and fistula are treated properly and heal, they will not come back. Complex Fistula surgery has high chances of recurrence.