What Is Fistula
Fistula is the small infected tunnel that is developed between the lower end of the large intestine and the end of the anus (anal opening). This tunnel exists naturally in the human body but sometimes it gets infected and inflamed, leading to the condition of the fistula. Generally, this infection arises from the anus due to unhygienic or sanitary conditions. Patients with a history of anal infection or pus are prone to develop this disease.
Usually, anal infection occurs due to a boil or pus in the anal region. It creates problems for the patients when the pus starts oozing out from the anal opening and spreads to the other parts of the anus. Timely treatment is necessary as it may increase the infection and spread the disease.
How Serious Is Fistula?
Fistula can potentially cause a lot of discomfort. If it is left unattended or untreated properly and professionally, it may cause serious complications. Some fistulas can cause bacterial infection, which may result in sepsis later on. Sepsis is an extremely dangerous condition that can lead to low blood pressure, organ damage or even death. Not only this, fistula is also known as the very rare sign of cancer.
If fistula is left untreated for a long period of time, it may lead to cancer. It can cause bowel incontinence as well as an obstetric fistula may develop between the rectum and the vaginal cavity in case of complicated vaginal deliveries. But luckily, several treatments are available there for fistulas that can help in minimizing the risk of serious complications and cure this disease permanently.
Causes Of Fistula
Clogged anal glands and anal abscesses are the leading causes of fistula. However, there are other less common conditions that may help in the formation of fistula. Below are the following conditions:-
- Chronic diarrhea
- Chronic constipation
- Lifting heavy weights
- Prolonged anal fissure
- Radiation (treatment of cancer)
- Straining during bowel movements
- Sexually transmitted disease (STDs)
- Crohn’s disease (An inflammatory disease of intestine)
- Diverticulitis (a disease in which small pouches form in the large intestine and get inflamed)
Symptoms Of Fistula
There are several symptoms of fistula. However, below-mentioned are the most common ones. If you notice any of these symptoms, do contact a doctor as soon as possible.
- Bleeding from the anus
- Recurring anal abscess
- Itching around the anus
- Discharge of pus from the anus
- Pain and swelling in the anal region
- Painful and straining bowel movements
- Frequent fever, chills and a general feeling of fatigue
Diagnosis Of Fistula
Usually, the symptoms of fistula are simple and can be observed in the patient easily. If you experience the above-mentioned symptoms of fistula, you should consult a doctor immediately for further assistance. The doctor performs a physical examination of anus and anal region to understand the depth and direction of the disease and its severity. However, if physical examination does not help in locating the fistula, then other tests like Anoscopy is performed. The doctor may also ask for an MRI, ultrasound or fistulography.
Treatment Of Fistula
With the help of medication, the early stages of fistula can be treated. However, once they develop or become severe, the doctor recommends laser surgery. Laser surgery is considered as the safest, easiest and quickest permanent treatment of fistula. It is a painless and bloodless procedure that takes around 30-40 minutes to complete. You can go home the same day after 3-4 hours of your surgery. Laser surgery involves no cuts or stitches.
There are no chances of wounds, scars or infection. This modern and advanced treatment has brought an easy and convenient cure for fistula. This surgical procedure offers you instant relief from your painful problems. Fistula laser surgery has gained popularity all because of its effectiveness and lots of benefits. During surgery, the doctor introduced a precise amount of energy to the fistula with the help of a thin laser probe. Then the doctor destroys the fistula completely, while leaving the surrounding tissues intact. After that the laser probe is pulled back closing the fistula tract.
The recovery after fistula laser surgery is very quick and comfortable. You should avoid doing strenuous activities for a few days. But you can resume your daily life activities after 48 hours of your surgery. You should follow the diet chart that your doctor has suggested. You will be absolutely fine within a week’s time. However, contact your doctor immediately if you notice anything unusual.
Bleeding, pain, itching, swelling, constipation, painful bowel movements and discharge of pus from the anus are the main symptoms of fistula. Bad lifestyle, unhealthy eating habits and less consumption of liquid and water has drastically increased the cases of fistula. Fistula should not be ignored as it has the potential to cause life threatening diseases such as cancer. Contact a specialist as soon as you experience any symptoms of fistula. Laser surgery can offer you permanent relief from your problems. Delay no more, get the best treatment and give yourself a happy and healthy life.