Quick Facts on Fistula
- If not treated properly, an anal fistula may potentially cause bowel incontinence
- In complicated vaginal deliveries, an obstetric fistula may develop between the rectum and the vaginal cavity
- People younger than 40 years of age have higher risks of developing anal fistula
Home remedies for anal fistula
Following are some of the ways to manage fistula at home:
- Eat a high-fibre diet and drink plenty of water.
- Soak the anal area for 15-20 minutes 3-4 times a day.
- Wear a pad over the anal area to prevent the spillage of pus drainage.
- Use a stool softener.
- Resume physical activities only when the doctor recommends.
How to prepare for anal fistula surgery?
The surgeon usually guides the patient on how to prepare for anal fistula surgery. If the patient smokes or consumes alcohol regularly, the surgeon may ask him or her to stop those immediately.
The anal fistula surgery might be done under the influence of local or general anesthesia. The effects of the anesthesia need a few hours to wear off, and as such, it is recommended for the patient to bring someone who can accompany the patient during the hospital stay or while driving back home.
On the day of the surgery, the vitals of the patient will be checked to confirm if the surgery can be proceeded with or not.
What happens during and after laser fistula surgery?
In laser fistula surgery, the surgeon introduces laser heat into the fistula which passes through the opening of the rectum. Once the laser is activated, it causes the fistula tissues to shrink down. The surgeon slowly draws back the laser through the fistula, sealing the channel behind it. The surgeon then closes the internal opening either with a suture or a skin flap.
After laser surgery for anal fistula, the patient is kept under observation for a few hours. During this healing process, the doctor monitors the vitals of the patient's body. The patient is discharged in less than 48 hours.
The patient can anticipate feeling some discomfort for a week after the surgery. Over-the-counter pain killers can be taken for relief. Additionally, warm baths can also be taken to dry the affected area carefully afterwards. The recovery process after laser fistula surgery is generally hassle-free and causes no complications. However, it is highly advised for the patient to follow the suggestions of the doctor until complete recovery.
Which treatment is the best for anal fistula?
Anal fistula is one of the common colorectal diseases in which an abnormal tract grows to connect the anorectal mucosal tissue with the exterior anal skin. There are different types of treatment methods for anal fistula, viz, fistulectomy, laser anal fistula surgery, and Before concluding which surgery is the best one for you, let's help you understand these treatment options for anal fistula.
In this surgical process for anal fistula, the surgeon drains and eliminates the fistula tract under the influence of anesthesia. Once the tract is completely drained, the surgeon seals the opening and allows the tract to heal. This process is recommended only in the case of complex anal fistulas. Fistulectomy has the risk of damaging the sphincter muscles and causing faecal incontinence in the patient.
2. Laser fistula surgery
Laser fistula surgery is considered to be the most advanced and safest treatment for anal fistula. The process is carried out under the influence of anesthesia and is completed within 30-40 minutes. In this process, a laser probe is inserted into the fistula tract which damages the tract and allows it to shrink. The treatment is considered much more effective than conventional methods of surgery since there are no incisions and wounds involved in the process.
This is the ancient ayurvedic technique of treating anal fistula. In this process, a thread that is alkaline in nature is tied inside the fistula. The thread irritates the tract and causes it to inflame. This is a non-invasive treatment that also helps in getting rid of the dirt, pus and debris from the fistula tract. However, in most cases, the treatment does not show effective results in the first session and hence the patient needs to undergo multiple sessions to treat the fistula. There is also a scope of recurrence in this process of anal fistula treatment.
Medical practitioners consider laser surgery as the best treatment for anal fistula. The positive sides that make this process the best treatment among all are:
- Short surgical process
- Can be performed as a daycare process
- The surgical site heals faster than conventional surgeries
- Painless process
- No recurrence