An anal fistula is a small tunnel that connects an abscess, which is an infected cavity in the anus, to a skin opening around the anus, says the best fistula doctor in Kolkata.

If left untreated, fistulas can cause significant discomfort as well as serious complications. 

Fortunately, there are treatments available for fistulas, which prevent more serious complications. Though you may be afraid of treating it at first, doing so is both easier and better than not treating it at all. 

When you are diagnosed with fistula, you may have many questions about the condition. Continue reading to know the answers of the most common questions asked by people about fistula.

What are the symptoms of fistula?

The following are the most common symptoms of fistula:

• Redness

• Pain

• Extensive diarrhea

• Swelling in the anal region

• Painful urination or bowel movements 

• Discharge of foul-smelling liquid from anus 

How to diagnose fistula?

If you have an anal fistula, the doctor will ask you about your medical history and perform a physical exam. Some fistulas are easily detectable, while others are not, says the best fistula surgeon in Kolkata.

Your doctor may refer you to a rectal and colon specialist for additional tests and examinations such as CT scans and X-rays. A colonoscopy may be required in some cases. The doctor will insert a tube with a camera into your anus to view the inside of your bowel during a colonoscopy.

What is the fistula treatment procedure?

Because there is no effective non-surgical treatment for fistula, surgery is the only option. The surgery is performed in the doctor’s clinic and hospitalization may not be required.

For a simple fistula that is not near your anus, the doctor will cut open the muscle and skin surrounding the tunnel. The opening will heal from the inside out, says the expert of fistula treatment in Kolkata.

A plug is sometimes used to close the fistula.

The doctor inserts a Seton tube into the opening for a more complex fistula. Before surgery, this allows to drain the infected fluid. It could take you 6 weeks to recover.

Doctors may prescribe antibiotics and pain relievers following surgery to prevent further infection. Stool softeners may be prescribed to help you move your bowels more easily.

Take a warm bath on a regular basis and keep the area clean, especially after bowel movements.

Is a fistula a cancer symptom?

Anal fistula does not typically cause cancer; however, if left untreated for an extended period of time, you may be at risk of developing cancer.Though fistulas may close in some cases on their own, they can also reopen. In this case, it is advised that you seek professional assistance, says the best fistula doctor in Kolkata.