A 23-year-old member asked:
Is surgery for an anal fistula more painful than just leaving the fistula alone?
2 doctor answers • 3 doctors weighed in
Addiction Medicine 27 years experience
No: Typically a fistula is a chronic inflammatory "tunnel" between the anus and the skin. There are many types, many treatments, and the most common surgery involves literally "filetting" open the tract to allow it to heal by itself, and thus obliterate the tunnel. This is somewhat painful, but offers the advantage of removing the chronic, longstanding focus of inflammation and pain, and so is usual.
6.4k viewsReviewed >2 years ago
Colon and Rectal Surgery 30 years experience
No: In the short run (the first few days after surgery), yes. However, the surgery will usually cure the fistula and eliminate not only the pain that you may be experiencing before the surgery, but prevent future abscesses (and the need to drain them), not to mention other complications of the fistula. So, in the long run, it will be less painful to have it corrected.
6.4k viewsAnswered >2 years ago
Last updated Aug 8, 2020
Connect with a U.S. board-certified doctor by text or video anytime, anywhere.
24/7 visits - just $39!
50% off with $15/month membership
Content on HealthTap (including answers) should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and interactions on HealthTap do not create a doctor-patient relationship. Never disregard or delay professional medical advice in person because of anything on HealthTap. Call your doctor or 911 if you think you may have a medical emergency.