An anal fistula means a small tunnel that occurs or develops between the skin near the anus and bowel (where poop leaves the body). In simple terms, they are just the result of an infection near the skin of the anus causing a collection of pus in the surrounding tissue. Most of the time it is the result of the infection in a gland that spreads to the skin whose symptoms involve swelling, pain, blood discharge, or pus from the anus.

Types of Fistulas

Perianal fistulas or anal fistulas

When there is an abnormal connection between the perennial skin and the epithelialized surface of the anal canal.

  1. 1. An anorectal fistula develops between the skin around the anal opening and the anal canal.
  2. 2. Colovaginal fistula develops between the vagina and the colon.
  3. 3. Anovaginal or Rectovaginal Fistula develops when a hole or tunnels occur between the anus and the vagina.
  4.  

Urinary Tract Fistulas

The abnormal openings or connections between the urinary tract organ with another organ or within the urinary tract organ.

  1. 1. Vesicovaginal fistula occurs when a hole develops between the vaginal area and the bladder.
  2. 2. A vesicouterine fistula develops between the uterus and the bladder.
  3. 3. A urethrovaginal fistula develops or occurs between the vaginal area and the uthera.
  4.  

There are many other types of fistulas such as:

Colocutaneous fistula or Enterocutaneous develops between the skin of the colon and the small intestine.

Enteroenteral fistula develops among two parts of the intestine.

What causes Anal Fistula?

There are various causes or reasons for anal fistulas which are the following:

  • 1. Trauma (like hard penetration)
  • 2. Cancer
  • 3. Radiation (treatment for cancer)
  • 4. Diverticulitis – is a condition where small pouches form or develop in the large intestine and further get inflamed.
  • 5. Tuberculosis
  • 6. Ulcerative Colitis or Crohn’s disease (this affects the intestine which is an inflammatory disease)
  • 7. Sexually transmitted diseases
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Signs and Symptoms of Anal Fistula

  • 1. Swelling and pain around the anus
  • 2. Irritation of the skin near the anus from drainage
  • 3. Bleeding
  • 4. Frequent anal abscesses
  • 5. Pain while making bowel movements
  • 6. Foul smelling or bloody drainage (Pus) from the end or opening of the anus. This pain may be relieved after the Fistula drains.
  • 7. Chills, fever, and normal feeling of fatigue.
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Important:- If you are having any of these symptoms or facing severe pain, then you must consult your doctor or you can also feel free to connect with Glamyo Health for getting free consultations and personalized healthcare facilities. 

Treatments for an anal fistula

Unfortunately, there is no medication for treating or curing a fistula, but surgery seems to be very successful in treating this. Surgery is known to be the most effective way of treating fistulas. You may not need to go to the hospital for the surgery as this is a very normal surgery that can be done at a clinic too.

  • 1. This is a very simple surgery, if the fistula isn’t close to the anus, then at this point your doctor will cut the muscle or skin near the anus which helps in allowing it to heal from the inside and near the anus.
  • 2. Plug can also be used by your doctors for closing the fistula.
  • 3. In case of a rare or severe fistula, your doctor may put a tube (Setan) at the end or opening of the anus which helps in draining the pus or fluid which is infectious before starting the surgery.
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Important:- it depends where your fistula is, accordingly your doctor will make a cut inside the sphincter muscles which helps in closing and opening the anus. The procedure is not dangerous but it will be a little harder to control your bowels after the surgery or treatment.

Complications

Complications may involve a fistula when it recurs after the treatment or when you are not able to control bowel movements. This mostly happens if muscles surrounding the anal opening which is known as the sphincter is removed.

When to see a doctor for a fistula

If you have any of the above-mentioned symptoms or signs of an anal fistula or when you have a previous anal problem or abscess. You must consult your doctor because he or she will be the only one who can provide you with the right guidance and help you get rid of this fistula.

Conclusion

An anal fistula is just the result of an infection near the skin of the anus causing a collection of pus in the surrounding tissue. The major symptoms of fistula are pain or swelling around the anus, fever, difficulty while making bowel movements, etc. Fistulas can only be treated through surgery so you must consult your doctor before taking random medications.

Glamyo health (India’s leading healthcare network), can help you in treating fistula and before that, we will also provide you with a free consultation. You will be provided with free pick-up and drop service with personalized care during and after the surgery.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is fistula surgery serious?

No, fistula surgery is not serious, it is a very normal procedure, but it may carry infection risks. 

What are the main causes of fistula?

Sexually transmitted diseases, trauma, cancer, tuberculosis, etc. are causes of fistula.

Can poop come out of the fistula?

Yes, bowel contents may leak through the fistula which helps stool or gas to pass through the vagina.

Can fistula be cured permanently?

No, there are still chances to recur an anal fistula after the surgery.

What happens if you don’t treat a fistula?

If the fistula is left untreated then the chances of cancer increase.

How can I drain my fistula at home?

Yes, you can drain fistula at home by drinking a lot of water or by keeping yourself hydrated, but there is no surety that it will be cured properly. Surgery is the best way to drain a fistula.

Can fistula be cured without surgery?

No, there are no medications for treating anal fistula.

How painful is a fistulotomy?

Yes, it is quite painful and pain may remain for one or two weeks. 

What is the success rate of fistula surgery?

There is an 87 to 94% success rate for fistula surgery.

What is the cost of Fistula Treatment in India?

Starting price is 17,000, the average cost is 75,084, and the maximum price is 1,40,000 for fistula treatment in India.

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