An anal fistula is a small tunnel that develops between the skin and the anus. These are caused as a result of an infection near the anus or in the skin near the anus forming a collection of pus. This pus is usually known as an abscess. Fistulas come out due to infection in an anal gland that spreads through the skin.
Several symptoms include pain, discharge of pus or blood from the anus and swelling. An anal fistula is not a very common condition. 10 out of 100,000 individuals are affected by it, usually men.
Assessment of anal fistula MRI
For preoperative assessment of patients with anal fistula, MRI is the best imaging modality. By having an MRI test, your doctor can accurately demonstrate disease extension and predict prognosis.
What you can expect in the report?
Your doctor can conclude the symptoms being that of Crohn’s disease and not severe perianal fistula after analyzing the results of your MRI report. Crohn’s disease is a chronic inflammatory bowel disease that usually affects your digestive tract lining. This can cause abdominal pain, diarrhea, fatigue, anemia and weight loss. Your doctor will suggest other medications or treatment methods to cure the same.
Results of your fistula MRI can also come out as symptoms of colorectal cancer. This will require immediate surgery. The symptoms might confuse you with that of anal fistula initially. But it’s all different. Colorectal cancer is known by different names such as – bowel cancer, rectal cancer, colon cancer. This particularly affects your colon and the rectum. Colorectal cancer buds when the healthy cells in the colon start to mutate in their DNA. This accumulation of cells leads to a tumor. And if left untreated this can become large and destroy other healthy cells in the surrounding area.
Piles or hemorrhoids can also be the result of your MRI report which initially seemed to be anal fistula issue. Sometimes hemorrhoids can clot the blood vessels in your anal canal and could lead to thrombosis which needs surgery. This will be indicated by external hemorrhoids which can be swollen, hard and painful leading to bloody discharge usually. Piles laser surgery is the most effective and less invasive way to get rid of these.
The findings of your report can also indicate anal fissures if not anal fistula. These are basically the tear or linear splits in the lining of the lower anal canal. Usual reasons for the development of anal fissure are IBD, STDs, chronic constipation, or prolong diarrhea. Some fissures can be superficial and not much serious but some could extend deeper and expose the surface of underlying muscle leading to bleeding, pain and discomfort. (Also read: Stages of Healing Fissure)
The intense evaluation after MRI could result in genital psoriasis as the real issue and not anal fistula. Your anus and crease between buttocks can get affected by it forming build-ups in scaly red patches. This can be due to a weak immune system. Your skin cells start growing much faster and your body cannot get rid of them all. These can be a result of some infections too. Your doctor will suggest your treatment for the same to relieve the symptoms that ultimately lead to healthier skin surrounding your anus and rectum preventing itching and discomfort. (Also read: Rashes in the vagina- Know its causes and treatment)
Pelvic floor dysfunction:
Your MRI reports can also indicate that you have pelvic floor dysfunction which could be majorly due to childbirth, pelvic surgery or radiation treatments. This condition can be cured by non-surgical treatments involving pelvic floor strengthening therapy or pessary use.
Levator ani syndrome:
This can be the result if your reports. This is a sporadic pain due to spasm of the pelvic floor muscles or the muscles of the rectum or anal sphincter. This causes severe throbbing pain around your rectum and can resolve in a few minutes if the person gets active, releases gas, walks around. It is not of a severe nature.
If you are going through anal fistula and looking for a treatment, consult Pristyn Care. You can write and send your queries or even book online consultation for fistula related queries. Diagnosis in such a condition is important to prevent complications. Therefore, do not delay and get the best fistula treatment as soon as possible.
Also read: Laser treatment for Anal Fistula
Also read: Fistula Surgery Recovery at Home