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What Is A Fistula And An Anal Abscess?

Aug 18

An anal fistula, also called a fistula-in-ano, is a tiny passageway that connects a hole in the anal canal to a hole in the anus's surrounding epidermis. Anal fistulas may result from a previous or active anal abscess. Up to 50% of people with an abscess will develop a fistula. However, a fistula may form even in the absence of an abscess.



Small glands are located right within the anus in normal anatomy. If the glands in the anus get clogged, an infection may develop. An abscess may develop if an infection is severe enough. An abscess may develop if bacteria, human waste, or other objects clog the anal glands. Cancer, radiation, trauma, and Crohn's disease may all make infections and fistulas worse.



An abscess sufferer may feel pain, redness, or swelling in the vicinity of the anal area or canal. A fever and chills are common symptoms, as well as feeling nauseous or weary. Similar sensations as well as drainage from a hole close to the anus are experienced by fistula sufferers. A fistula is thought to be the cause if these symptoms return often in the same spot.



Most anal abscesses or fistulas are diagnosed and treated based on clinical signs. The fistula tunnel may be seen with imaging tests such an ultrasound, CT scan, or MRI, which can also help in the identification and treatment of deeper abscesses.



The most common form of abscess treatment is surgical drainage. Your surgeon must be skilled in the management of fistulas and abscesses. Colorectal surgeons are experts in this sector. For the majority of patients, an abscess may often be surgically drained with a straightforward therapy. An incision is made in the skin around the anus to drain the infection. This may be carried out in the operating room under general anesthesia or under local anesthetic in the office of your physician. Some persons with more serious conditions could need many operations to fix the problem. Hospital admission may be necessary for patients with diabetes or immune system issues who are vulnerable to more severe infections.

Surgery is nearly always necessary for an anal fistula. If the fistula is not too deep, many patients will have a fistulotomy. During this treatment, the fistula track will be opened to allow for bottom-up healing. During surgery, a very little portion of the sphincter muscle may need to be separated. Because a significant section of the sphincter muscle is not separated, bowel control problems may result (fecal incontinence). Other, more complicated procedures are used to close the fistula without damaging the sphincter muscle if a significant portion of the sphincter muscle is involved in the fistula track. In more difficult situations, several operations can be needed.

Antibiotics by themselves cannot cure abscesses and fistulas. In addition to surgery, antibiotics may be necessary if a patient has immune system difficulties, certain heart valve diseases, or severe cellulitis (a bacterial infection of the skin and tissues under the skin). A thorough medical history and physical examination are essential steps in establishing if antibiotics are required.


Prospects Following Treatment

You'll get instructions from your doctor on how to take care of yourself following surgery. Unfortunately, even after extensive treatment and full healing, an abscess or a fistula may return. There may be a fistula that has to be treated if an abscess reappears. More surgery will very definitely be required to treat the problem if a fistula reappears.