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Doctor insights on: Anal Fistula

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Dr. Shari Jackson
4 Doctors shared insights

Anal Fistula (Overview)

An anal fistula is an abnormal connection or tract that connects the inside lining of the colon or rectum with the outside skin. It intermittently drains pus and can cause discomfort, pain, itching, and other symptoms. It most commonly occurs as a consequence of an abscess in the same area. This may require outpatient surgery to treat the problem.


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Can I exercise with an anal fistula?

Can I exercise with an anal fistula?

Sure: Exercise is unlikely to change the course of an anal fistula. If you have an anal fistula, you should have it corrected by a board certified colorectal surgeon, but exercising is not likely to make your situation any worse (though the fistula may make the exercise uncomfortable).

Dr. Shari Jackson
4 Doctors shared insights

Anal Fistula (Overview)

An anal fistula is an abnormal connection or tract that connects the inside lining of the colon or rectum with the outside skin. It intermittently drains pus and can cause discomfort, pain, itching, and other symptoms. It most commonly occurs as a consequence of an abscess in the same area. This may require outpatient surgery to treat the problem.


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How much a lasser cirugy an anal fistula?

How much a lasser cirugy an anal fistula?

Hmmm: If you are asking what the cost of laser surgery to treat an anal fistula might be, I can't help you. But I can tell you that treating an anal fistula with laser surgery would be rather unorthodox.

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What happens if an anal fistula is untreated?

What happens if an anal fistula is untreated?

It continues: An anal fistula will continue to fester, leaking pus and blood every few days, until it is fixed. The fix depends on the course of the fistula through the anal sphincter. There is a small risk of cancer if a fistula is left for many years.

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What happens if an anal fistula is not treated?

Drainage, Abscess: Failure to correct an anal fistula generally leads to persistent drainage, recurrent peri rectal abscesses and gradual fibrosis of the anal sphincter. Correction of anal fistulas is generally indicated. See a board certified colorectal surgeon. Some fistulas are simple, but some are very complex.

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Can you please tell me what causes an anal fistula?

Can you please tell me what causes an anal fistula?

Infected anal gland: The most common cause if an infected gland near the anus typically due to obstruction of the gland. Thus results in a small abscess. The abscess needs to drain to prevent you from becoming sick. It does this by finding a path to release to release the puss. The pathway is typically to the adjacent skin near the anus. In rare circumstance fistulas can be the result of Crohnes or cancer.

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What is the definition or description of: anal fistula?

What is the definition or description of: anal fistula?

Anal Fistula Tract: An anal fistula is an abnormal connection or tract that connects the inside lining of the colon or rectum with the outside skin. It intermittently drains pus and can cause discomfort, pain, itching, and other symptoms. It most commonly occurs as a consequence of an abscess in the same area. This may require outpatient surgery to treat the problem.

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What happens if an anal fistula goes untreated for a year?

Abscess: An anal fistula is a connection from the inside of the anorectal area to the outside. This will cause soiling and infection. If left untreated it will lead to perirectal abscess formation and sepsis.

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Is there any possible complications for untreated anal fistula?

Yes: An untreated anal fistula can make you prone to have recurrent perianal abscesses and very rarely, become into a cancer (extremely rare).

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Is it okay to leave an anal fistula untreated for a year, or will it get bigger?

Is it okay to leave an anal fistula untreated for a year, or will it get bigger?

Unsafe: It won't get bigger, but may branch and make fixing it (surgery) much more complicated! It also might plug up and cause a very painful abscess, thus making you regret getting it taken care of promptly!

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If I had an anal fistula what would be the exact symptoms and would they become more obvious after I had just been to the toilet?

If I had an anal fistula what would be the exact symptoms and would they become more obvious after I had just been to the toilet?

Before treatment...: Could you be referring to fissures, fistula, abscess? Sexually transmitted disease (syphilis, gc, hiv, etc.) should be considered. Hemorrhoids & rectal prolapse can appear as an outward bulging. Anal trauma of any kind may cause mechanical injury. Skin eruptions need to be considered. Evaluation is recommended to distinguish serious versus less concerning reasons for your problem before treatment.

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I have a flat, firm and painful area around the external opening of my anal fistula. When I press on the area it hurts? What could it be?

I have a flat, firm and painful area around the external opening of my anal fistula. When I press on the area it hurts? What could it be?

Anal abscess.: You need to see a colo-rectal surgeon or your GI MD. Yo may need a CT abd/pelvis with rectal contrast...you may have a perianal abscess. Sometimes a simple incision/drainage + antibiotics may solve the issue rapidly.

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How to prevent recurrence of anal fistula?

Depends: On the cause of the fistula in the first place. Maintain a consistent bowel pattern and avoiding constipation or diarrhea is the best you can do. If the fistula is relate to crohn's disease, keeping your disease in remission by taking your maintenance meds without fail, is the best you can do.

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How long will I be out of work after surgery for an anal fistula?

Really depends: Erika - there are several surgeries for anal fistula. Your recovery really depends on not only what exact procedure you have, but also your tolerance for pain, and how important it is for you to be back at work. I've seen a range from the same afternoon to three to four weeks.

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How much time will it take for the cure of anal fistula with abscess formation?

How much time will it take for the cure of anal fistula with abscess formation?

Variable: It is hard to say how long it will take to heal. Without knowing how bad the fistula and the abscess is, I cannot answer your question accurately.

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Is surgery for an anal fistula more painful than just leaving the fistula alone?

Is surgery for an anal fistula more painful than just leaving the fistula alone?

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.

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My husband has had surgery 4 xs for an anal fistula and will need a 5th, is this common?

Not common: But not rare. Depends if the fistulas are in the exact same place and how they were treated surgically, how complex the fistulas were and whether the correct surgery was performed. Fistulas can recur if incompletely treated at the time of surgery. See a colorectal surgeon for more complex fistulas as your husband has. Also consider whether he has been tested for crohn's disease.

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I undergone for anal fistula operation before two days. Now for how many days I have to go for dressing to the docor?

SImple Care: The good news is that area has fantastic blood supply and so healing will occur rapidly. Inflammation (red, hot, tender swelling) is the body increasing the blood flow to the injury to bring healing factors to the area and also the veins expand to carry bad stuff away. Dressings and ointments are of no value there. Avoid further trauma to the area and let nature take it's course.

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I had two surgeries from anal fistula and has been cured. It hurts when I sitting down on bike or exercise. What I do?

It depends. ..: Fistula surgery can be simple to complex. Postop course depends on the extent and complexity of the surgery. Pain can be a part of recovery depending on when was the surgery. Healing can take 8-12 weeks. With the history of 2 fistulas, check with your surgeon to make sure that you are not developing another disease. Scar tissue can also cause discomfort specially after sitting on hard surfaces.

Fistula (Definition)

A fistula is an abnormal connection between two places. Most commonly, it originates somewhere in the intestine and communicates to another location in the intestine or in the skin. A fistula can develop after abdominal surgery, with inflammatory bowel disease, cancer, anorectal abscess, and ...Read more


Anus (Definition)

The anus is the opening of the rectum, through which stool and flatus are passed. The anal canal is about an inch in length, and is ...Read more