Anal Fistula – What it is, Causes and Treatments Treatment usually requires surgery. Also, Anal Fistula is a small tunnel that develops between the end of the intestine and the skin near the anus (where the poo leaves the body). They are usually the result of an infection near the anus causing a collection of pus (abscess) in nearby tissue.
When the pus oozes out, it may leave a small channel behind. Anal fistulas can cause unpleasant symptoms, such as discomfort and skin irritation, and usually will not get better on their own. Surgery is recommended in most cases.
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This abscess originates from an infection in the anal canal and from there it develops towards the surroundings of the anus. By the time it is drained, it leaves a path that joins the initial point of infection to the perianal skin. The extra-anal orifice can also open into another internal organ such as the vagina, for example.
Some Anal Fistulas are consequent to the obstruction of the drainage channels of the glands of the anal canal , next to the anal sphincters. So, check now Anal Fistula – What is it, Causes and Treatments:
Causes of Anal Fistulae: Most Anal Fistula develop after an anal abscess . They can occur if the abscess does not heal properly after the pus is discharged. It is estimated that between one in two or four people with an anal abscess will develop an Anal Fistula . Less common causes of Anal Fistula include.
- Crohn’s Disease: A long-term condition where the digestive system becomes inflamed.
- Diverticulitis: Infection of the small pouches that may be outside the side of the large intestine (colon).
- Hidradenitis suppurativa: A long-term skin condition that causes abscesses and scarring.
- Tuberculosis (TB) or HIV infection .
- a complication of surgery near the anus.
Symptoms of an Anal Fistula Can Include:
- Skin irritation around the anus .
- A constant, throbbing pain that may be worse when you sit, move, have a bowel movement, or cough.
- Gasping discharge from close to your anus.
- Passing pus or blood when you poop.
- Swelling and redness around the anus and high temperature (fever) if you also have an abscess.
- Difficulty controlling bowel movements (bowel incontinence) in some cases.
The end of the Anal Fistula may be visible as a hole in the skin near your anus, although this may be difficult for you to see yourself.
Treatments for an Anal Fistula: Anal fistulas usually require surgery as they rarely heal if left untreated. The main options include:
- A fistulotomy – a procedure that involves cutting the entire length of the Anal Fistula so that it heals a flat scar.
- Seton Procedures – where a piece of surgical thread called a seton is placed in the Anal Fistula and left there for several weeks to help it heal before another procedure is performed to treat it.
- Other techniques – including filling the Anal Fistula with special glue, blocking it with a special plug or covering it with a fabric flap.
All of these procedures have different benefits and risks. You can discuss this with your surgeon. Many people do not need to stay in the hospital overnight after their Anal Fistula surgery , although some may need to stay in the hospital for a few days.