An anal fistula is a small tunnel that develops between the end of the bowel and the skin near the anus (where poo leaves the body).
They're usually the result of an infection near the anus causing a collection of pus (abscess) in the nearby tissue. When the pus drains away, it can leave a small channel behind.
Anal fistulascan cause unpleasant symptoms, such as discomfort and skin irritation, and won't usually get better on their own. Surgery is recommended in most cases.
What are the symptoms of anal fistula?
Anorectal pain, swelling, perianal cellulitis (redness of the skin) and fever are the most common symptoms of an abscess. Occasionally, rectal bleeding or urinary symptoms, such as trouble initiating a urinary stream or painful urination, may be present.
Patients with fistulas commonly have history of a previously drained anal abscess. Anorectal pain, drainage from the perianal skin, irritation of the perianal skin, and sometimes rectal bleeding, can be presenting symptoms of a fistula-in-ano.
Causes of anal fistulas
Most anal fistulas develop after an anal abscess. They can occur if the abscess doesn't heal properly after the pus has drained away.
It's estimated that between one in every two to four people with an anal abscess will develop a fistula.
Less common causes of anal fistulas include:
Crohn's disease – a long-term condition in which the digestive system becomes inflamed
Diverticulitis – infection of the small pouches that can stick out of the side of the large intestine (colon)
Hidradenitis suppurativa – a long-term skin condition that causes abscesses and scarring
Infection with tuberculosis (TB) or HIV
A complication of surgery near the anus.
What are the types of anal fistula?
An anal fistula is usually classified as:
Simple or complex – depending on whether there is a single fistula tract or interlinking connections
Low or high – depending on its position and how close it is to the sphincter muscles
The sphincter muscles are two rings of muscles that open and close the anus. They are known as the internal and external sphincter muscles.
The most common types of anal fistula are:
Intersphincteric fistula – the fistula tract (channel) crosses the internal sphincter and opens on the surface of the skin next to the anus
Transsphincteric fistula – the fistula tract passes through both the internal and external sphincters and opens on the surface of the skin next to the anus
Other types of anal fistula can:
Begin at a different part of the colon (large intestine)
Extend in a different direction so the fistula does not open next to the anus
Develop in a horseshoe shape, with two open ends either side of the anus
Nonsurgical anal fistula treatment in our medical center
All fistula patients applying to our center are first examined in detail and they are informed about their disease and its treatment.
For ensuring a hygienic environment, patients are taken to a special room for them.
After the preparatory stage, patients are taken to sterile intervention room for a sterile intervention.
For intervention, local anesthesia is applied. The nonsurgical method which is decided for together with the patient is applied under sterile conditions. (5 to 10 minutes)
After the procedure, the patient rests in their own room. Then they return to their job or home on their feet.
What is the advantage of the laser treatment in anal fistula?
First of all, the laser treatment is not a surgical operation. That means, there will be no cuts, no sutures, no bleeding and no pain. And that’s why this treatment makes the healing side very fast. After 10 minutes of this treatment you can go back your daily routine with no pain. This is a really big advantage in these days. And you will be very comfortable because we don’t use tampons in the operation area.
In normal surgery we need to take a histo from that area but in this treatment there is no need to take histo. There will be no trauma in that area and it will be good for the defecation.