He is one of the best gastroenterology doctors I have ever visited. Took my uncle for stomach pain, the doctor did endoscopy & colonoscopy, diagnosed the problem as large intestine cancer, the doctor asked a...
The doctor is extremely professional and polite. He explains the problem patiently and does not prescribe unnecessary medication. He gives priority to the patient's well-being over everything. I Will definitely recommend him
I have referred/recommended a couple of my relatives and friends to this Dr (Dr. Srujan Kumar Dasyam). I say that the diagnosis and treatment are good and also Dr listens patiently in understanding the patient's...
Apoorva Reddy Panyala
Table Of Contents
- What is an Anal Fistula?
- What Causes an Anal Fistula?
- What are the Symptoms of Anal Fistula?
- How is Anal Fistula diagnosed?
- What are the Complications of Anal Fistula?
- How is the Anal Fistula Treated?
What is an Anal Fistula?
An anal fistula is an infected passage between the skin and the muscular opening of the anus. This infection causes an abscess that either drains naturally or is surgically drained via the skin adjacent to the anus. It is generally a painful and chronic condition.
What Causes an Anal Fistula?
An anal fistula is frequently caused by an anal abscess (perianal abscess). A perianal abscess develops when the fluid-producing glands in the rectum get clogged and infected with germs, resulting in a pus-filled abscess. Incase if the abscess becomes large enough, it can develop tunnels that go from the tissue around the rectum to the skin surrounding the anus. As the abscess drains, a tunnel is left behind.
Chronic intestinal diseases can also develop an anal fistula, such as:
- Crohn’s disease-It is a chronic inflammatory bowel illness that affects the digestive tract.
- Diverticulitis-Diverticulitis is an infection of the large intestine, characterised by tiny pouches that protrude from the large intestine’s wall and grow over time.
- In rare cases, diseases such as HIV and tuberculosis can also end up creating an anal fistula.
What are the Symptoms of Anal Fistula?
Characteristic sign: A small hole in the anal skin
Other symptoms such as:
- High fever
- Bowel incontinence
- Presence of blood or pus in the stools
- Irritated skin around the anus
- Constant anal pain
- Swelling around the anus
- Unpleasant anal discharge
How is Anal Fistula Diagnosed?
The diagnosis starts with a proper physical examination. Lab tests and procedures include:
- Digital test: A gloved, lubricated finger is inserted inside the anus to aid in diagnosing the condition.
- Sigmoidoscopy: A flexible tube is inserted with a camera that takes images of the bowel and rectum.
- Proctoscopy: A special scope with a light at its end to check the inside of the rectum.
- CT Scan
What are the Complications of Anal Fistula?
An untreated, anal fistula can lead to certain complications such as:
- Bowel incontinence
- Extreme pain
- Recurrent anal fistula
How is the Anal Fistula Treated?
To seal the tunnel, usually, anal fistula surgery is required. The most common type of surgery being, fistulotomy which involves opening the anal fistula by cutting along the whole length so it closes and heals as a flat scar.
The level of risk of anal fistula recurrence depends on the position of the fistula and the type of surgery done to treat it.