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Millions of patients worldwide suffer from fistulas at any given time. These are strange connections between two distinct organs or tissues, prompting the development of a passage-like tract. These can be effectively addressed with proper medical intervention and treatments.
Anal-centric fistulas are the most common type of fistulas. It normally happens after contamination in the anal-centric organs or because of Crohn's disease. Fistulas can cause pain, uneasiness, and irritation. Luckily, a few treatment choices are available, including medicines, moderate administration, fistula plugs, fistula laser treatment, and surgeries.
As per a study published in the International Journal of Colorectal Disease, fistula surgery has a success rate of more than 90%, with most patients having huge improvements. Then again, other treatment choices, like prescription and moderate administration, have lower achievement rates and can prompt repetitive contaminations.
Causes and Symptoms of Fistulas
Fistulas happen in the anal-centric organs, which can prompt the arrangement of an ulcer. If not treated early, it can increase the infection. Fistulas can be caused by bowel problems, sexually transmitted diseases, radiation treatment, and injury to the area.
The symptoms of a fistula can shift the severity of the condition. Normal side effects include:
- Persistent discomfort in the anal-centric region
- Inconvenience while sitting or passing stool
- Expanding or redness around the butt
- Noxious release from the butt
- Repetitive contaminations or abscesses
If you encounter any of these symptoms, you must visit a specialist as soon as possible. They will perform some lab tests and diagnoses to decide the underlying cause and suggest the proper anal fistula treatment.
What’s the Procedure to Treat Fistulas?
Fistula surgery is the best treatment for fistula that eliminates the fistula tract and any contaminated tissue around it. This surgery is performed with general anaesthesia. The surgeon will make an incision close to the fistula to view it properly during the surgery. The fistula will then be carefully removed, and any contaminated tissue will be cleaned. The injury will be closed with stitches, and a dressing will be done.
There are a few fistula surgeries, including open fistulotomy, closed fistulotomy, and fistula plugs. An open fistulotomy is the most well-known kind of fistula medical procedure and includes making a huge incision to eliminate the fistula plot.
A close fistulotomy is a less invasive anal fistula treatment that utilises an extraordinary device to cut and eliminate the fistula tract without making a huge incision. The fistula plug medical procedure includes placing a biodegradable plug into the fistula tract to close it.
Other Treatment Choices
While surgery is the best solution for fistulas, there are different anal fistula treatments available which include the following:
- Medicines: These can be utilised to deal with the side effects of fistulas, like pain and inflammation. However, they don't cure the hidden problem, and their success rate in suppressing fistulas is low.
- Moderate administration: This includes dealing with the side effects of the fistula without eliminating the tract. It can lead to repetitive problems.
- Fistula laser treatment: This methodology includes utilizing a laser to seal the fistula lot. But, it doesn't eliminate the tract or repetitive infections, and the success rate of this strategy is lower than surgery.
- Seton placement: This includes stitch or other material through the fistula to keep it open and allow it to dry. This technique isn't successful in curing the fistula and can prompt repetitive contaminations.
- Colostomy: This anal fistula treatment includes placing some material through the fistula tract to keep it open and allow it to drain. However, this method is not effective in healing the fistula and can lead to recurrent infections.
- Normal cures: Certain individuals might attempt regular cures like homegrown supplements, sitz showers, or dietary changes to treat their fistula. In any case, there is no logical proof to help the viability of these cures, and they should not be utilised as a substitute for clinical treatment.
With a success rate of over 90%, fistula surgery is the best treatment for fistula, particularly anal fistula. It is a long-lasting, extremely effective remedy that can greatly raise a patient's quality of life. Surgery is typically more effective in curing fistulas than alternative treatments like medicine, conservative management, fistula plugs, and fistula laser therapy. Surgery continues to be the most effective fistula treatment, even though other options could only offer short-term relief. Consider fistula surgery as a therapy option if you have a fistula, and discuss the best course of action with your doctor.
Q. Are there any risks involved with treating fistulas surgically?
Fistula surgery problems are uncommon, just like with any other procedure. Possible side effects include bleeding, infection, discomfort, or trouble managing bowel motions. Usually, these issues are manageable with the right treatment and monitoring.
Q. After surgery, can fistulas return?
Despite the high success rate of fistula surgery, a fistula recurrence is still possible. If the surgeon cannot remove the fistula tract completely or an underlying problem is present but untreated, this is more likely to occur.
Q. How long does it take to recover from a fistula operation?
The length of recovery following fistula surgery varies depending on the procedure used and the patient's general condition. Patients can typically resume their regular activities within a few days to a week, but complete recovery may take several weeks. Following the doctor's recommendations and staying clear of any activities that could put undue strain on the surgery site is crucial during the healing process.
Q. Are fistulas preventable?
There are several methods that can lower the likelihood of getting a fistula, even if it is not always possible to prevent them. Among these are practicing excellent hygiene, avoiding constipation, addressing underlying problems like Crohn's disease or STDs, and preventing anal injuries.
Q. Is it possible to identify a fistula without undergoing surgery?
A physical examination is typically required to diagnose a fistula, but imaging tests like an MRI or CT scan may be used to provide more specific information about the location and size of the fistula. These tests, which are typically used to aid in surgical planning, might not always be necessary.