An anal fistula is a medical term for a small tunnel that forms between the skin around the anus and the muscular opening at the end of the bowel or digestive tract. It occurs as a result of the infection around the anus, causing an abscess (pus) in nearby tissues.
Most anal fistulas develop abscess that further drains spontaneously or through a surgical technique from the skin near the anus. When the pus is drained, it leaves a small channel behind it.
Anal fistulas can lead to some unpleasant symptoms, such as skin irritation and discomfort. These are usually treated with surgery.
Anal Fistula Signs and Symptoms
Following are some common symptoms of the anal fistula:
- Skin irritation around or near the anus
- Persistent and throbbing pain, which worsens as you sit down, pass stool, cough or move around
- Smelly discharge from the anus
- Passing pus while passing stool
- Inflammation and redness near and around the anus, as well as fever (high temperature) when you have got an abscess
- Difficulty to control bowel movements in some cases
You might even notice:
- Bleeding while passing stool
- Painful urination or bowel movements
- A foul-smelling fluid discharge oozing from the anal hole
The end of the fistula may be visible in the form of a hole near the skin around the anus, while it is difficult to see it yourself.
If you notice or experience any of these signs or symptoms lately, you must seek medical help immediately. Do consult the experienced specialist to get the best treatment to cure this condition.
Types of Anal Fistulae
The different types of anal fistulas are categorized as per their location, such as:
- Intersphincteric fistula: In this type, the tract starts within the space between the external and internal sphincter muscles, as well as open near the anal opening.
- Transphincteric fistula: The tract starts within the space between external and internal sphincter muscles or behind the anus. It further crosses through the external sphincter and further opens outside the anal opening.
- fistula: In this type, the tract starts in a space between internal and external sphincter muscles. It then turns upward to a position just above the puborectal muscle to cross this muscle. It also extends downward between levatorani and puborectal muscle and then opens outside the anus.
Extrasphincteric fistula: In this type, tract starts at the sigmoid colon or rectum and then extends downward. It passes via the levatorani muscle to open a few inches near the anus.
The treatment also depends on the location of the fistula. Here are some common treatment options:
- Fistulotomy: In this treatment option, the surgeon probes to look for the internal opening of the fistula. After that, the tract is cut open and all the contents are scraped and flushed out for opening the fistula.
- Advancement Rectal Flap: The surgeon will core out the tract to cut a flap in the rectal wall for removing fistula’s internal opening for drainage.
- Seton Placement: In this technique, a seton (rubber band or silk string) is used for creating scar tissue near sphincter muscle before cutting it through a knife. It also aids drainage of fistula, besides opening and closing the fistula tract.
- Collagen plug or Fibrin Glue: In many cases, the fibrin glue (made from plasma protein) can be used for sealing and healing fistula. The glue is injected via an external opening to clear the tract. A collagen plug can also be used for sealing and closing the fistula tract.
Fistula Treatment Centre in Delhi NCR
SCI Hospital’s trained and experienced medical specialists are known for treating many cases of colon and rectal issues, gastroenterology and another infectious disease, including fistula. Our experts work together to treat and evaluate the procedures needed for curing an anal fistula.
If a patient is suffering from an anal fistula or another medical condition, SCI Healthcare specialists will collaborate with their primary care doctor for creating the best treatment schedule.
Having all the expertise under one roof means that patient care is discussed carefully. Furthermore, the results are provided quickly, as well as the appointments are scheduled timely in coordination with our highly specialized experts.
Best Fistula Surgeons
SCI Hospital’s surgeons and experts have extensive experience in treating over 700 cased of anal fistula every year. Our specialists make use of advanced imaging technology for tracing the pathways of anal fistulas. Some of the latest equipment or tools used by our experts include MRI, endoscopic ultrasound and flexible sigmoidoscopy.