What Should You Know About Anal Fistulas?

The anal fistula can be understood as a tunnel that forms between the skin around the anus and the bowl’s end. They are generally the result of infection near the anus leading to the collection of abscess or pus in the nearby tissue. After the pus drains, it can leave a tiny channel behind. If you possess an anal fistula, you may have to look for fistula surgeons near me because it does not heal on its own generally.

If you feel discomfort, skin irritation, and pain near your anus, you should get checked by a doctor. Anal fistulas usually start when your anal gland becomes infected or blocked. The infection breaks through the skin next to anus developing a tunnel instead of breaking into the anus. So, an abnormal tunnel is formed near your anus.

And as long as the internal opening remains open, the anal fistula will not heal and this is why you may search fistula surgeons near me online. The fistula may also happen after draining of the abscess primarily because the presence of an internal opening may not be obvious then, and it was left untreated.

Symptoms Of Anal Fistulas

  • Passing blood or pus when you poo
  • Smelly discharge from you anus
  • A throbbing, constant pain that may increase when you sit down
  • Skin irritation near your anus
  • Difficulty controlling the bowel movements (in some cases)
  • Redness and swelling near anus if you possess an abscess, a high temperature
  • A hole visible near the anus, which is the fistula’s end

Causes Of Anal Fistulas

Major of the anal fistulas form after the anal abscess. If the abscess is not able to heal properly even after the pus has released, you can get anal fistula.
Other reasons are –

  • Infection with HIV or tuberculosis
  • Crohn’s disease, which is a long-term condition where the digestive system gets inflamed
  • Hidradenitis suppurativa, which is a skin condition causing scarring and abscesses
  • A complication of the surgery near anus
  • Diverticulitis, which is the infection of small pouches that may stick out of large intestine’s side

Treatment Of Anal Fistula

If you doubt that you possess an anal fistula, visit your doctor. The doctor will examine your anus and then conduct some tests to confirm the issue. They may first physically examine by inserting a finger or may perform the following examinations –

  • Rectal examination
  • An MRI scan, CT scan, or ultrasound scan
  • A proctoscopy where telescope with lights on its end is utilized to look inside the anus

After it is confirmed that you have anal fistula, the doctor may decide to conduct a surgery, which includes two options –

  • Seton procedures – In this procedure, a surgical thread (seton) is placed inside the fistula and then left there for multiple weeks for helping it heal before another procedure is conducted to treat it.
  • Fistulotomy – In this procedure, the whole length of your fistula is cut open so that it heals into a scar.

In the case the fistula is deep, other procedures are used. The procedures are generally simple and you may not even be asked to stay in the hospital for long.
Conclusion
Anal fistulas can cause pain and discomfort, and require surgical procedures. However, they would not become a serious problem if treated in time

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