Fistula In Ano

A fistula in Ano is a small opening around the anal orifice. It usually presents white discharging pus or blood stained material soiling the inner garments.

What Causes An Anal Fistula?

Most fistulas result from an anal abscess. A small number of fistulas may less frequently be caused by other processes such as Crohn’s disease, sexually transmitted diseases, trauma, tuberculosis, cancer, or diverticulitis.

What Are The Symptoms Of An Anal Fistula?

The following may be symptoms or signs of an anal fistula:

  • Recurrent anal abscesses.
  • Pain and swelling around the anus..
  • Pain with bowel movements.
  • Bleeding.
  • Bloody or foul-smelling drainage (pus) from an opening around the anus. The pain may decrease after the fistula drains.
  • Irritation of the skin around the anus due to persistent drainage.
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  • Fever, chills, and a general feeling of fatigue. (However, these may be symptoms of many conditions.).

How Is An Anal Fistula Diagnosed?

Your physician can usually diagnose an anal fistula by examining the area around the anus. He or she will look for an external opening on the skin. If this is visible, your physician will then try to determine the depth and direction of the fistula tract. Often drainage can be produced from the external opening.

Some fistulas may not be visible on the skin’s surface. In this case, your physician may need to perform additional tests, starting with anoscopy, in which a special instrument is used to see inside your anus and rectum. Your physician may also order an ultrasound or MRI of the anal area to better define the fistula tract.

If a fistula is found, your physician may also want to do further tests to see if the condition is related to Crohn’s disease, an inflammatory disease of the intestine. About 25% of people with Crohn’s disease develop fistulas. Among these studies are blood tests, X-rays, and colonoscopy. A colonoscopy, in which a flexible, lighted instrument is inserted into the colon via the anus, is performed under conscious sedation, a type of light anesthetic..

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