From Abscess to Anal Fistula- The Evolution!

Pain, itching, constant discharge in the perianal region for many months usually denotes a perianal fistula. When a patient presents with a fistulous opening to the clinic, the doctor after taking a thorough history does a physical exam. This includes inspection of the perianal region as well doing a proctoscopy. A per rectal exam is also mandatory. When the patient is informed that there is an opening in the perianal region through which the discharge occurs, “A question often arises”.

How did I get this?
A fistula is an abnormal communication between two epithelial surfaces. The anal canal is rich in glands. These glands have a high propensity to get infected. The infection if not treated will develop into an abscess. This abscess has a tendency to track down and present in the perianal region as a big lump.

If left alone without early treatment which included antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medication, the abscess can burst resulting in a fistula. This is the evolution of the anal fistula which is a highly bothersome condition as it leaks a purulent foul smelling discharge continuously.

After the advent of laser surgery, the treatment of anal fistula has become easier.The Laser beam, the Hoyag cuts throught he tunnel that connecs the anal canal and the perianal region with minimal blood loss and almost nil scaring.This helps in the healing of the fitula after the tract has been opened at a much faster rate than traditional surgery. Pain is cut to a minimum with early recuperation the norm.

Dr. Karthik Gunasekaran

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