Causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of Anal Fistula

A tunnel that runs from walls of the rectum, the part through which the wastage is sent out of the body, this tunnel is known as an anal fistula. Fistula could have been caused by the infection that is not healed in the right way. The doctor can cure the fistula, but the patient should undergo surgery to get rid of the anal fistula.

Causes of Anal Fistula:

Many glands are present inside of the anus these glands produce fluids. The bacteria will be built up when the glands get blocked or clogged, and this can infect a tissue or create a swollen pocket, this is called an abscess.

The abscess which are not healed in the right way or left untreated will grow. Eventually, this will find its way outside and punch a hole in the walls of the rectum to drain the gunk inside. A fistula is a tunnel that joins the opening and the gland.

The primary cause of the fistula is an abscess. But in sporadic cases, it can be caused by sexually transmitted diseases, tuberculosis or any illness that affecting the bowels.

Symptoms of Fistula:

Popular signs are:

Swelling around your anus

Some other symptoms:

A foul-smelling liquid coming from a hole near your anus
Painful bowel movements or urination.

Consult a doctor if you have any symptoms as mentioned above.

Diagnosis of Fistula:

If the doctor doubts about the fistula, they might want to know the medical history of the patient and conduct a physical exam.

Some fistulas can be identified, and others cannot be. Fistulas close on their own and open back up sometimes. The doctors will try to look for symptoms like bleeding or oozing liquid. The doctor might insert a lubricated finger with a glove in the rectum for better observation.

The doctors might also suggest to a specialist in colon and rectal problems, for better observation by imaging tests like a CT scan or X- rays. The patient might need to get a colonoscopy, in this process doctor will send a camera through the rectum to look at the insides of the bowels.

Treatment for Fistula:

To treat fistula surgery is inevitable since there is no medication to treat the illness. This is a very simple operation, and the patient can walk home after the procedure and no need for inpatient admission.

To operate over a simple fistula that is not too close to the anus, the doctor will cut the skin and muscles around the tunnel. This cut will allow the tunnel to heal from inside. The doctor may also use a plug to close the fistula.

To perform surgery over a complicated fistula, the doctor will put a seton, a tube into the fistula opening. This tube will drain the infected fluid present inside, before surgery. This might take up to six weeks depending on the position of the fistula. The doctor may have to cut the sphincter muscles that is helpful for opening and closing of the anus, and it may be difficult to control the bowels after this procedure.

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