What is an anal fistula?
Anal fistulas commonly result from a previous anal abscess (perianal abscess) or current anal abscess being an infected cavity near the anus or rectum that is filled with pus as a result of an infection of the anal glands. About 33% of people who have had an perianal abscess will have an underlying anal fistula.
The fistula is an abnormal tunnel that is formed under the skin connecting the clogged infected glands to an abscess or may also be present without an abscess connecting near the anal opening on the buttocks.
What are the symptoms of anal fistulas?
Anal fistulas are uncomfortable and can be difficult to manage. Symptoms include:
- Pain around the anus, possibly worsening when you sit or from a bowel movement
- Surrounding irritation of the skin around the anus
- Discharge of pus or blood
- Redness and/or swelling
- Fever (if you have an abscess)
How are anal fistulas treated?
Anal fistulas will usually not heal on their own and will require interventional treatment to heal. There are a number of surgical and non-surgical treatment options available.
There is currently only one non-surgical treatment option which involves gluing the fistula. Although this is considered a non-surgical option this procedure requires stitches to close the fistula’s opening
Surgical treatment options include :
- Opening the fistula to allow it to heal into a flat scar
- Removing the fistula and attaching a tissue flap from the rectum or anus
- Insertion of a prosthetic “plug” to block the fistula
- Inserting a draining rubber band (seton) around the fistula
Arranging for a consultation
If you have been diagnosed or have a suspected anal fistula, please contact our office to arrange for a consultation with Dr Ozmen to discuss your condition and provide you with possible treatment recommendations based on your individual needs.