Anal fistulas are abnormal infected tunnel or link formed between the surface of the anal canal and the skin. They are categorized based on the location of link formed in specific regions as:
- Anorectal Fistula: connects a link between the anal canal and the skin around the opening anal opening.
- Rectovaginal or Anovaginal Fistula: forms a hole between the rectum and the vagina.
- Colovaginal Fistula: develops a link between the colon and the vagina.
Causes of anal fistula
Factors that lead to the development of anal fistula include:
- Collection of pus near the anus (anal abscess)
- Inflammation of digestive system
- Infection of colon
- Abscesses and scarring
- Previous surgery near the anus
Symptoms of anal fistulas
Most common symptoms of anal fistula include:
- Throbbing pain that worsen while sitting down
- Skin irritation around the anus
- Swelling and tenderness
- Discharge of pus or blood
- Pain during bowel movements
Diagnosis of anal fistulas
The doctor performs a digital rectal examination to diagnose an anal fistula. Additional tests may be required to rule out the chances for sexually transmitted infections; inflammatory bowel disease, diverticular disease and rectal cancer and these include an ultrasound scan, CT scan or a MRI scan.
Treatment of anal fistulas
The type of surgery will depend on the location of the anal fistula and treatment methods include:
- Fistulotomy: Fistulotomy is the surgery to remove the fistula and is performed on an outpatient procedure. The surgeon uses a general anesthetic to relax the patient and reduce the pain and discomfort during the procedure. The surgeon cut open the whole length of the fistula and flushes out the contents. Before initiating the procedure three sections are identified, the external opening around the anus, the tract connecting the external and the internal openings and the internal opening. The fistulectomy surgery is accomplished by separating some sphincter muscles in the anal area.
- Seton techniques: if the fistula has branches then this technique is used in which a piece of thread which is left in the fistula tract to drain the pus.
- Advancement flap procedures: The advancement flap method is used for complex fistula in which the fistula tract is removed and replaced with a piece of tissue obtained from the rectum or from the skin around the anus.
- Fibrin glue: Non-surgical treatment to remove fistula and involves injecting glue to the fistula to seal the tract.
- Bioprosthetic plug: Bioprosthetic plug is a cone shaped plug used to block the internal opening of the fistula and is made from human tissue.
At Kims hospital we provide treatment non invasive and minimal invasive surgical treatment options for removing anal fistula. Our expert panel of specialist’s works in collaboration with the medical surgeon’s to provide a unique inclusive experience for the patients to relieve pain and discomfort caused by an anal fistula. To know more about anal fistula treatments and treatment cost, book an appointment now.