Everything You Need To Know About Anal Fistulas

Having a pain in the “you-know-what” should only ever be meant figuratively. But if you are experiencing a true colorectal issue - you know that finding the right doctor, and fast, is of the utmost importance. Since most colorectal issues are very difficult or impossible to self treat, it’s important to find a professional you trust because it can be impossible for your symptoms to go untreated for long.. One fairly common problem our colorectal specialists treat at the Colorectal Clinic Of Tampa Bay is the presence of  anal fistulas. This condition is not widely common amongst most individuals, but when it does present itself, it must be treated by a professional. Read more to learn everything you need to know about anal fistulas.

What Is An Anal Fistula?

In order to understand an anal fistula, you have to understand why they form, and from where they form. Mainly, anal fistulas form from Infected anal glands. These are glands that have become clogged, lead to the forming of an abscess. When a fistula forms, it creates a tunnel beneath the skin, connecting with the infected gland.

Occasionally, bacteria can clog an anal gland and cause an abscess cavity to form, from which in some cases the abscess may drain on its own. Some anal glands may not drain on their own though, and require medical attention, otherwise, the anal fistula, or tunnel, may not go away.

Anal Fistula Symptoms

Some common anal fistula symptoms include pain, redness, or swelling in the area around the anus. Other symptoms may also include fatigue, some general physical discomfort, a fever and chills, as well as some possible drainage from the area around the anus. If this sounds awkward or uncomfortable - it’s because it is, which is why so many patients that suffer from anal fistula consider finding a top-notch colorectal surgeon to be so important.

Anal Fistula Treatment

The treatment process begins with treating the anal gland infection or abscess. This typically involves surgical drainage, which may be performed as an outpatient procedure under local anesthesia. Once the abscess is drained, the surgeon can deal with the fistula. The surgical treatment for a fistula is a fistulotomy, which is a procedure that involves connecting the internal opening within the anal canal to the external opening, creating a groove that will heal from the inside out. Typically, the procedure includes placing material within the fistula to occlude it, or to alter the surrounding tissue in order to be able to close the fistula.

More Information

While surgery may sound like a daunting option for treatment, these surgeries are very common and involve very few risks. On the other hand, ignoring an anal fistula can lead to other complications. If you have an anal fistula, or you think you may be suffering from one, please contact us to book an appointment with one of our colorectal specialists today!