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An anal fistula is a condition that occurs when there is a small tunnel that appears between the end of the bowel and the skin near the anus. The anus is the external opening part of your body which helps expel feces from the body. Generally, inside the anus, there are a lot of small glands.
On this type of condition, one of these glands is blocked by many reasons, an abscess or an infected cavity may happen. Treatment for an anal abscess is surgical drainage, although some drain spontaneously. Approximately 50% of these abscesses may develop into a fistula.
Though anal fistulas can cause unpleasant symptoms (such as discomfort and skin irritation, and won’t usually get better on their own), it is not a complicated condition. Surgery is recommended in most cases.
Please discuss with your doctor for further information.
The common symptoms of anal fistula are:
There may be some symptoms not listed above. If you have any concerns about a symptom, please consult your doctor.
You should contact your doctor if you have any of the following:
It is believed that an anal abscess is often the main cause which leads to anal fistula. They can occur if the abscess doesn’t heal properly after the pus has drained away. Less common causes of anal fistulas include:
A long-term condition in which the digestive system becomes inflamed
A complication of surgery near the anus
The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. ALWAYS consult with your doctor for more information.
If your doctor suspects you experience anal fistula, he/she will do a rectal examination, but some patients may require additional tests to screen for:
If left untreated, anal fistulas usually require surgery as they rarely heal.
The main options include:
a procedure that involves cutting open the whole length of the fistula so it heals into a flat scar
where a piece of surgical thread called a seton is placed in the fistula and left there for several weeks to help it heal before a further procedure is carried out to treat it
including filling the fistula with special glue, blocking it with a special plug, or covering it with a flap of tissue
All these procedures have different benefits and risks. You can discuss this with your surgeon.
Many people don’t need to stay in hospital overnight after surgery, although some may need to stay in hospital for a few days.
The following lifestyles and home remedies might help you cope with anal fistula:
If you have any questions, please consult with your doctor to better understand the best solution for you.
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