A disorder characterized by an abnormal communication between the opening in the anal canal to the perianal skin

Symptoms of Fistula-in-ano

The following features are indicative of Fistula-in-ano:
  • rectum pain
  • anal discharge
  • bleeding
  • perianal swelling
  • tenderness
  • fever
It is possible that Fistula-in-ano shows no physical symptoms and still is present in a patient.

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Common Causes of Fistula-in-ano

The following are the most common causes of Fistula-in-ano:
  • sphincter injury
  • trauma
  • inflammation
  • sexually transmitted infections
  • anorectal cancer

Risk Factors for Fistula-in-ano

The following factors may increase the likelihood of Fistula-in-ano:
  • excessive regular salt intake
  • history of diabetes
  • hyperlipidemia
  • dermatosis
  • anorectal surgery
  • smoking
  • alcohol consumption
  • sedentary lifestyle
  • high intake of spicy or greasy food

Prevention of Fistula-in-ano

Yes, it may be possible to prevent Fistula-in-ano. Prevention may be possible by doing the following:
  • soaking in a warm bath 3 or 4 times a day
  • eating a diet high in fiber
  • drinking plenty of fluids

Occurrence of Fistula-in-ano

Number of Cases

The following are the number of Fistula-in-ano cases seen each year worldwide:
  • Very common > 10 Million cases

Common Age Group

Fistula-in-ano can occur at any age.

Common Gender

Fistula-in-ano can occur in any gender.

Lab Tests and Procedures for Diagnosis of Fistula-in-ano

The following lab tests and procedures are used to detect Fistula-in-ano:
  • Computed tomography (CT) enterography: To view the detailed images of the small intestine and structures within the abdomen and pelvis
  • Digital rectal exam: To diagnose the anal fistula
  • Fistulogram: To view the images of an abnormal passage within the body
  • Sinogram: To assesses an abnormal passage called a sinus
  • Lower gastrointestinal series: To view the large intestine
  • Magnetic resonance enterography: To view the detailed pictures of the small intestine

Doctor for Diagnosis of Fistula-in-ano

Patients should visit the following specialists if they have symptoms of Fistula-in-ano:
  • Colorectal Surgeon

Complications of Fistula-in-ano if untreated

Yes, Fistula-in-ano causes complications if it is not treated. Below is the list of complications and problems that may arise if Fistula-in-ano is left untreated:
  • fecal incontinence
  • bowel incontinence

Procedures for Treatment of Fistula-in-ano

The following procedures are used to treat Fistula-in-ano:
  • Surgery: To assure adequate drainage of the fistula
  • Fistulotomy: Placement of a seton to keep fistula open for draining
  • Endorectal flap procedure: To keep feces or other material from reinfecting the channel

Self-care for Fistula-in-ano

The following self-care actions or lifestyle changes may help in the treatment or management of Fistula-in-ano:
  • Reducing medications that increase intestinal transit: Helps in disease improvement
  • Take low fiber diet: Helps in reducing the stool consistency

Time for Treatment of Fistula-in-ano

While time-period of treatment for each patient may vary, below is the typical time-period for Fistula-in-ano to resolve if treated properly under an expert supervision:
  • In 1 - 4 weeks

Last updated date

This page was last updated on 2/11/2019.
This page provides information for Fistula-in-ano.

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