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Doctor insights on: Are Anal Fistulas Minor Annoyances Or Serious Medical Problems

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Are anal fistulas minor annoyances or serious medical problems?

Are anal fistulas minor annoyances or serious medical problems?

Great question: It is RARE for it to heal without surgery but also it is rare for a fistula to threaten one's health. Very rarely we see the infection get into blood stream and make patient very sick and even infect heart valve or infection can get out of control. It is up to the patient as to how much of a bother the symptoms represent. To help decide a patient really should discuss with Colorectal Surgeon ...Read more

Dr. Sandra Eleczko
4 Doctors shared insights

Anal Fistula (Definition)

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 ...Read more


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If I have a small red bump, could it be an anal fistula?

If I have a small red bump, could it be an anal fistula?

Could be especially: If it drains yellowish thick purulent material. Could also be a small hemorrhoidor your everyday "zit" ...Read more

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I have an anal fistula. What medical treatment should I follow until I get operated in one month? It is painful at the moment!

I have an anal fistula. What medical treatment should I follow until I get operated in one month? It is painful at the moment!

Recurrence of absces: If the external opening closes the discharge will accumulate and cause a recurrent abscess. Take sitz baths and the external openining might have to be opened up again. ...Read more

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Can an anal fistula have little or no pain? Pus collects around rectum when I sit, but the small hole bleeds after bm. No bm pain during, little after

Can an anal fistula have little or no pain? Pus collects around rectum when I sit, but the small hole bleeds after bm. No bm pain during, little after

Yes: It can simply drain without pain. You should definitely have this treated, however. There are some very well respected colon and rectal surgeons in your region that can provide you very good care. ...Read more

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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). ...Read more

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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. ...Read more

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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. ...Read more

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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. ...Read more

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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. ...Read more

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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. ...Read more

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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. ...Read more

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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). ...Read more

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Are there several different procedures for treating anal fistulas?

Anal Fistulas: Yes. Fistula are treated by evaluation under anesthesia,
anoscopy, digital exam and proctoscopy. The first step is to determine the locations of the internal and external openings of the fistula, the amount of sphincter involved, the number of tracts, the association with the urethra or vagina, and drainage of any abscesses. Ttreatements include fistulotomy, advancement flap, and fistula plug. ...Read more

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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! ...Read more

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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?

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. ...Read more

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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. ...Read more

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How is safe and what are the risk in having a fistulotomy? And what are the risk in not having an anal fistula removed?

Safer with experienc: Biggest risk is incontinence-very low incidence in experienced hands, many options available to lessen risk. Discuss with an experienced surgeon! Risks are higher if you don't fix it, as multiple infections will surely damage sphincter more, making repair even harder, riskier the longer you wait. Most fistulae are easily fixed with minimal risk, so don't delay for fear of consequences. ...Read more

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Why doesn't surgery get rid of anal fistulas once and for all?

Most of the time it: More often than not surgery does resolve fistulas. However, if it is a complex fistula or one secondary to another disease process such as crohn's, management of the primary disease is essential. ...Read more

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Can you tell me reasons why I get anal fistulas and perianal cysts?

See your doctor: Anal fistulas can be caussed from the cysts forming abscesses. May be assocaited with various bowel diseases such as crohn's colitis or diverticulitis. Other causes - rectal/anal trauma, suppressed immune system from a variety of conditions, infections, std's, and even cancer. See you doctor for a proper evaluation. ...Read more

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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. ...Read more

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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. ...Read more

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Are there medicines for anal fistulas, or is surgery the only option?

NO: There is no known medical treatment for anal fistulas. This should be treated by a colon and rectal surgeon. ...Read more

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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. ...Read more

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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. ...Read more

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