When the area from which feces are thrown out from the body gets blocked it give rise to the formation of abscess (infected cavity) and such an abscess will form anal fistula. Anal fistulas are small abscess of infection inside the anus which may give rise to pain and swelling around the anus. Very often, the fistulas are formed from anal abscess but sometimes it can also occur due to sexually transmitted disease and infectious disorder like tuberculosis.
The symptoms of anal fistula are bleeding, anal abscess pain with swelling, foul smelling pus discharge and occasional fever with chills. Anal fistula can be diagnosed by physical examination of anus and also by testing procedure. If needed, your doctor will ask you to do MRI scan of the anus for clearly defining the fistula tract. In case of detection of fistula, further testing would be done for Crohn’s disease in the intestine. Generally fistulas are seen on people with Crohn syndrome.
Surgery is done for severe case of anal fistula, if it becomes unmanageable. Fistulotomy is the procedure of removing fistulas from the anus during which the muscular area are opened, thus converting the abscess into groove. This facilitates the healing process quickly. In complicated cases of anal fistula, a seton is replaced in the area which should be kept for minimum 6 weeks and can be removed thereafter. There may be pain and little discomfort after surgery and you can take pain killer medicines for complete healing and recovery.
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