Anal fistulas

 

An anal fistula is a chronic infected tunnel that runs from the anal canal to the skin near the anus.
The anus is the external opening through which feces are expelled from the body. Just inside the anus are a number of small glands that make mucus. Occasionally, these glands get clogged and can become infected, leading to an abscess. About half of these abscesses may develop into a fistula.

The leading causes of an anal fistula are clogged anal glands and anal abscesses. Other, much less common, conditions that can cause an anal fistula to include:

  • Inflammatory bowel disease – Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis
  • Previous radiation therapy to the anal region
  • History of trauma to the anal region
  • Systemic diseases – Tuberculosis, diabetes, HIV
  • Diverticulitis (a disease in which small pouches form in the large intestine and become inflamed)
  • Cancer

The signs and symptoms of an anal fistula include:

  • Frequent anal abscesses
  • Pain and swelling around the anus
  • Bloody or foul-smelling drainage (pus) from an opening around the anus. The pain may decrease after the fistula drains.
  • Irritation of the skin around the anus from drainage
  • Pain with bowel movements
  • Bleeding
  • Fever, chills, and a general feeling of fatigue

You should see your doctor if you notice any of these symptoms.

Doctors can usually diagnose an anal fistula by examining the area around the anus. He or she will look for an opening (the fistula tract) on the skin. The doctor will then try to determine how deep the tract is, and the direction in which it is going. In many cases, there will be drainage from the external opening.

Some fistulas may not be visible on the skin’s surface. In this case, your physician may need to perform additional tests:

  • An anoscopy is a procedure in which a special instrument is used to see inside your anus and rectum.
  • Your physician may also order an ultrasound or MRI of the anal area to get a better view of the fistula tract.
  • Sometimes your surgeon will need to examine you in the operating room (called exam under anesthesia) to diagnose the fistula.

An operation is almost always necessary to treat an anal fistula. The operation is performed by a colon and rectal surgeon. The aim of the operation is to strike a balance between removing the fistula and protecting the anal sphincter muscles, which could cause incontinence if damaged.

F Care Systems has developed a new minimally invasive technique to seal the fistula path without opening the anal sphincter.

The Fistura® procedure uses radiofrequency thermocoagulation to treat anal fistulas – using very high frequency (4MHz) electromagnetic waves, similar to the principle of a microwave.

This new treatment is performed on an outpatient or day-case basis.
The procedure takes only a few minutes, with minimal discomfort for the patient, allowing an immediate return to daily activities.

 

Eat a balanced diet. Taking care of your diet will keep the stomach and digestive system healthy.

Drink More Water. Always it is recommended to drink more water preferably one and a half liters a day.

Use Pillows. Sitting long hours at work is one of the fistula causes.

Maintain good personal hygiene. Make sure to wash after going to the toilet or each bowel movement. Any bacteria remaining on the skin causes infection.

Strengthen your immune system. Maintaining a balanced diet and eating food rich in omega 3s, and vitamin C like fish, olive oil and citrus fruits will help strengthen the immune system.

Practice Healthy Bowel habits.

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