Fistula in ano (anal fistula)

Anal fistula, or fistula-in-ano, is an abnormal connection between the surface of the anal canal and the perianal skin. Anal fistulae originate from the anal glands, which are located between the two layers of the anal sphincters and which drain into the anal canal. If the outlet of these glands becomes blocked, an abscess can form which can eventually point to the perianal skin surface. The tract formed by this process is the fistula. Abscesses can recur if the fistula seals over, allowing the accumulation of pus. It then points to the surface again, and the process repeats.

What are the related symptoms of anal fistulas?

Anal fistulas per se are not harmful but can be very painful and can be irritating because of the continuous drainage of pus. Additionally, recurrent abscesses may develop. Signs and symptoms of an anal fistula include:

How are anal fistulas treated?

Dr Cooper will perform surgery to drain the acute abscess. Repair of the anal fistula itself is considered an elective procedure that many patients elect to undertake due to the discomfort and inconvenience associated with the draining tract.

There are several surgery options, such as: