You might have come across many types of health issues, its causes, diagnosis, treatment, side effects, and all. Few might be dangerous others may not be so dangerous. No matter what kind of health issue it is, fistula treatment is required.
Varieties of types of treatment have been developed and used in this developing era in medication. Medical technologies these days have advanced and enabled the early and accurate diagnosis of any type of health problem, by facilitating timely interventions and improvising on the outcomes.
The innovative technologies in the medical sciences can replace, repair, and sustain the failing parts of the body. It is so surprising and overwhelming if we study about the advances in the field of medication.
Let’s read about something important in this article.
You may have heard about Anal Fistula! It is a type of chronic abnormal communication between the epithelial surface of the anal canal and the perianal skin. It is mostly caused by an abscess which is a collection of ous that has developed in the anal canal.
This issue is not generally harmful but can be very painful and irritating due to the drainage of pus. Also, the formed stools can be passed through the fistula. It may additionally lead to significant short-term morbidity due to the pain and it can be the starting point for the systemic infection. Hence the surgical treatment is considered essential which allows the drainage and prevention of infection.
The symptoms of an anal fistula are:
- Formation of pus or serous fluid and feces discharge which can be bloody or purulent.
- Cause of itching.
- Formation of skin maceration.
- And depending on the presence and severity of the infection, other symptoms can be- pain, swelling, fever, tenderness, unpleasant odour.
- It might cause thick discharge which keeps the area wet.
The diagnosis is examined either in an outpatient setting or under anesthesia. A narrow instrument named fistula probe is used to explore the fistula. This way will help to find both the openings of the fistula. And the diagnosis can be aided by performing a fistulogram, proctoscopy, or sigmoidoscopy.
And the possible findings of the diagnosis can be:
- The opening of the fistula on the skin can be observed.
- On examination, the area may be painful.
- The redness may be observed.
- A discharge of pus can be observed.
- And also an area of induration or infection can be observed.
The treatment for anal fistula is usually by the surgery. It is the way to treat the problem. Surgery of fistula is usually performed by giving a general anesthetic to the patient. And the time required for the surgery to complete may vary from a quarter of an hour and half an hour. To reduce the risk of bowel incontinence, which is to reduce the risk of passing the bowel movement without wanting to, the treatment might involve several operations that are carried over several months. Depending upon where the fistula is, the suitable type of surgery is considered for the person’s treatment.
The fistula might occur at three different parts for different individuals.
- Below the sphincter muscle.
- Through the sphincter muscle.
- Above the sphincter muscle.
Depending upon the above three situations the surgical treatment might involve:
- In the case where the fistula occurs below or crosses the lower part of the sphincter muscles, the surgeon will go forward to cut the fistula open to the skin and then leave the wound open. So that the wound can heal with the healthy tissues.
- If the fistula has any branching which passes through the upper part of the sphincter muscles in the patient, then the surgeon will place a special stitch which is called the set on a stitch in the fistula which allows the pus to drain easily.
- If the fistula is suitable for the treatment with a plug which is made of pig-bowel tissue, then the surgeon will not need to make any cut in the sphincter muscle.
- If the anal fistula reaches the portion above the sphincter muscles, then such patients need to have a temporary colostomy which is nothing but the bowel opening onto the skin. Usually, this is not so common.
There might be some complications after the surgery too. Few complications to note down are:
- In the case of general complications.
- Pain can be caused
- Bleeding may occur, and
- Unsightly scarring might occur too.
- In other cases, which are specific complications.
- Difficulty in passing urine may occur,
- There may be involuntary passing of wind or lose feces.
- And bowel incontinence.
After the surgery has been completed, the patient may be allowed to go home on the same day or the day after, depending upon the complexity and severity of the anal fistula infection and the cooperation of the patient’s body with the treatment. Resting for the first few days is considered important for the recovery. Walking as little as possible is also prescribed so that it helps to heal the wound.
The wound might take a few weeks to heal completely, so using the pad is also suggested until then. As days pass by, regular exercises will help the patient to return to normal activities as soon as possible. But before the exercises are started, consulting the doctor at regular intervals is important until you are completely healed of the wound. As in a few cases, there are chances of fistula coming back again. The long term success rate of the surgery is 92 to 97 percent as per the studies.
Before you go for the surgical process, it’s important to get as much information as possible from your doctor about the exact condition of the fistula. Sharing the information to your doctor about all the symptoms and health history will help them make an informed diagnosis and treatment plan for you. Any half or hidden information can lead to inappropriate treatment and can be a cause of further unwanted complications which will increase the severity of the issue instead of solving the one you are facing.
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