An anal fistula is a tunnel that goes from the inside of the anus (the opening your body uses to get rid of solid waste) to the skin around it. It frequently occurs after an illness that did not heal properly. The fistula can be repaired by your doctor, but it will require surgery.
Several fluid-producing glands are located just inside your anus. They can get clogged or blocked at any time. The accumulation of germs can cause swelling in pockets of the infected tissue and fluids. This condition is called an abscess.
If the abscess isn’t treated, it will spread and eventually find its way to the exterior, punching a hole in the skin around your anus to let the filth within to drain. The fistula is the passageway between the gland and the orifice.
Abscess is one of the most common causes of Fistula. They can also be caused by tuberculosis, sexually transmitted illnesses, or a persistent bowel disorder such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, however this is uncommon.
Signs and Symptoms
The following are the most common signs and symptoms:
Call your doctor if you experience any of these symptoms.
If the doctor diagnoses or suspects your condition as an anal fistula, they will prescribe a physical examination and take a record about your medical history for better diagnosis.
Fistulas can be easily identified in some cases. Others, on the other hand, aren’t. In many cases, they may close on their own and then reopen without external prompts. Your doctor will examine for symptoms of bleeding or seeping fluid.
The doctor will most likely refer you to a colon and rectal specialist for additional exams or imaging tests such as X-rays or a CT scan. A colonoscopy may be required. The doctor will insert a tube with a camera into your anus to examine the inside of your bowels for this test. This will happen when you are sleeping.
Because there is no medication that can cure the problem, surgery is employed. The doctor will cut up the skin and muscle surrounding the tunnel for a simple fistula that isn’t too close to your anus. The opening can then heal from the inside out. To close the fistula, they may use a plug. In the case of a more difficult fistula, the doctor may insert a tube called a set on into the opening. This aids in the drainage of infectious fluid prior to surgery. It could take up to 6 weeks. Your doctor may have to cut into the sphincter muscles that open and close your anus depending on where the fistula is located. They’ll attempt not to hurt them, but you might find it difficult to control your bowels afterward.