Anal fistulas can cause serious concerns to your health. With the help of a colorectal expert, you can get effective treatment and achieve relief.
Inside the anus are small glands that naturally make fluid – they can sometimes become infected for various reasons. An anal fistula occurs when an abscess (or a pocket of infected fluid and tissue) occurs in these glands, then grows and creates a small tunnel to the surface of the skin. They can also form a small tunnel to other organs like the vagina. Most times, it’s visible and causes noticeable symptoms.
The most common symptoms of anal fistulas are:
- Swelling and redness
- Bleeding or oozing
- Difficulty passing bowel movements or urinating
Anal fistulas most often happen as a result of infection, but they can also be caused by certain medical conditions like Crohn’s disease. You may also be at a higher risk for anal fistulas if you’ve undergone surgery or radiation therapy.
Your first step in treatment is meeting with a colorectal surgeon who can assess the area and determine the severity of the infection. Certain imaging tests may allow them to determine where the fistula goes and how best to treat it. Various surgical techniques like a fistulotomy can be used to help the fistula heal properly. You’ll be given detailed instructions from your colorectal expert on how to care for the area after your return home.
Anal fistulas are very treatable when caught early on. They can cause complications if left untreated. Make sure to follow all instructions from your colorectal expert including taking all antibiotics, soaking the area in a warm bath, taking stool softeners, and eating a high-fiber diet with plenty of fluids. If anal fistulas are the result of a more serious medical condition like Crohn’s disease, then our expert team can help.
It’s important to get prompt, expert care if you experience symptoms of an anal fistula. To meet with our team and learn more about your treatment options, contact ACE Clinic by calling or filling out our online contact form.
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