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Best Hospital for Pain Free Anal Fistula Treatment in Chennai | Tambaram

Anal Fistula Surgery

An anal fistula is a small tunnel that forms between the anal canal and the skin of the anus. They usually develop where an anal abscess doesn’t heal properly after the fluid from the abscess creates a tunnel to drain away, and the remains open. Anal fistulas won’t usually get better on their own and in most cases surgery is recommended.

Symptoms of an Anal Fistula

Symptoms include skin irritation and swelling around the anus, a throbbing pain, bleeding or discharge when going to the toilet, and pain when passing stools.

Fistulas can affect anybody but are more common in men aged 30 – 50.

Diagnosis of an Anal Fistula

A specialist consultant will perform a careful digital rectal examination to assess the perianal area and determine if it is a simple (low) or complex (high) fistula. This relates to the position of the fistula in relation to the sphincter muscles. If a high fistula is suspected an MRI scan is essential to accurately assess the anal canal anatomy and look for further branches of the fistula.


If the fistula is low a fistulotomy will be performed. This means the fistula is laid open to the skin so the wound can heal with healthy tissue. This will only be done if the surgeon is happy that external anal sphincter damage is minimal and continence will be unimpaired.

If the fistula is high, more than one operation may be required. Initially a seton stitch will be placed in the fistula to allow fluid to drain easily, reduce the risk of infection and allow the tunnel to begin to heal. A few months later a more definitive operation can be considered. No single procedure works for all cases but options include a fistulotomy, a fistula plug, LIFT (ligation of intersphincteric tract), FILAC (laser closure) or collagen paste.