An anal fistula is a passage (tract) from the anal canal to an opening in the skin near the anus.

What Is An Anal Fistula?

This a channel extending from the anal canal (usually) to the skin in the area surrounding the anal verge.  It is frequently a result of the formation of an anal gland infection which may manifest as an abscess.

What Is The Treatment For Anal Fistula?

Surgery is almost always needed as only very few fistulas heal by themselves. 

The procedure of choice depends on:

  • Type of Fistula
  • Presence/ absence of infection/large abscess.

In majority of cases a fistulotomy procedure alone suffice.  In this the tract is layed open along its entire length, and the wound so created is allowed to heal by scar tissue formation. 

Occasionally in the case of a complex fistula a two stage procedure is warranted to achieve full healing without complications.

Laser Therapy has been successfully incorporated as a treatment modality for selective fistulas.

Recovery From Surgery

Can be done as a day procedure operation. Occasionally depending on the type of fistula and therefore selection of surgery, a few days (2 -3) hospital stay may be necessary. Patient commences on a diet within 4 hours after surgery. Resumption of work can occur, typically  in 2 -3  days after surgery.