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Anal fistula, or fistula-in-ano, is a chronic abnormal communication between the epithelialised surface of the anal canal and (usually) the perianal skin.

Anal fistulae originate from the anal glands, which are located between the internal and external anal sphincter and drain into theanal canal. If the outlet of these glands becomes blocked, an abscess can form which can eventually point to the skin surface. The tract formed by this process is the fistula.

Different types of anal fistula (right side of image)

Anal fistula

Abscesses can recur if the fistula seals over, allowing the accumulation of pus. It then points to the surface again, and the process repeats.

Anal fistulas per se do not generally harm, but can be very painful, and can be irritating because of the pus-drain (it is also possible for formed stools to be passed through the fistula); additionally, recurrent abscesses may lead to significant short term morbidity from pain, and create a nidus for systemic spread of infection.

Surgery is considered essential in the decompression of acute abscesses; repair of the fistula itself is considered an elective procedure which many patients elect to undertake due to the discomfort and inconvenience associated with a draining tract.

Signs and symptoms

Anal fistulae can present with many different symptoms:

6 responses to “Anal Fistula”

  1. prasad says:

    can u give reply for my Question ? by a Email

  2. prasad says:

    is there 100% cure for fistula in this Acu TreatMent

  3. prasad says:

    in Acu Treatment there is 100% cure for fistula? is it possible

  4. Christinaponder says:

    Great article, exactly what I was looking for.

  5. Josue Vanlaningham says:

    Thanks, I have recently been seeking for facts about this subject for ages and yours is the best I have located so far.

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