What Is Anal Fistula?

Anus is the external opening of the alimentary canal through which we pass stool.

There are many small glands inside the anus. If any of these glands get infected it results in an abscess.

If this abscess communicates with the anal canal and creates a passage till skin surface it is – Fistula-In-Ano.


How Did It Come To That?

The most common cause is Abscess. About 50% of the abscesses can develop into a fistula.

Other More Dangerous causes- -Crohn’s Disease, STD’s, Tuberculosis, Cancer, Trauma.


How Do I Know About It?

  • Painful Swelling around the anus.
  • Discharge foul Smelling – Peri-anal.
  • Bleeding
  • Continuous irritation of Peri-anal skin.
  • Fever with rigors, chills.
  • ain Around the anal opening

In case of any Of these Symptoms, you must see your surgeon/physician.


What Happens Next? What Will My Surgeon Do?

The First Step-Your Surgeon will  EXAMINE the area and look for –

  • Any External Opening with a discharge
  • Any Swelling without a opening.

ANOSCOPY – To see the inside of your Anus/ Rectum to locate the internal opening of the fistula.

IMAGING – The surgeon may further order a fistulogram/ MRI to get further details

COLONOSCOPY – TO see if the fistula is related to Crohn’s Disease or cancer a flexible instrument is inserted into the anus to check the large intestine.


Is It Necessary To Undergo All These Tests?

Absolutely, These tests help your Surgeon to –

  • Reach a Correct Diagnosis.
  • Confirm Which surgery is to be Performed.
  • Detect any Co-morbid conditions along with the fistula which could be missed otherwise.
  • Grade your Fistula – In-Ano.
  • Find the root Cause of Fistula. Eg, In Crohn’s disease.


What Is The Treatment?

Surgery, done by a General Surgeon/ Colorectal Surgeon.

Most of the fistulas are treated with- FISTULECTOMY.


Can It Happen Again?

Yes, Fistula-In-Ano Can Have Recurrence, It can happen at the same Place Or at different Site.

Follow the post-operative Instructions of the surgeon and have regular check up to avoid recurrence.

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