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Anal fistula

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Introduction
An anal fistula is a small channel that develops between the end of the bowel, known as the anal canal or back passage, and the skin near the anus.
Symptoms of an anal fistula
Symptoms of an anal fistula include skin irritation around the anus, a throbbing pain, and a discharge of pus or blood when you have a bowel movement.
Causes of an anal fistula
An anal fistula is most commonly caused by an anal abscess. It can also be caused by conditions that affect the intestines (part of your digestive system).
Diagnosing an anal fistula
To diagnose an anal fistula, your GP will look at your medical history and carry out a physical examination.
Treating an anal fistula
Surgery is usually necessary to treat an anal fistula because very few will heal by themselves. The procedure used is usually a fistulotomy.
Recovering from surgery
After having surgery to remove an anal fistula, you should be able to move around and eat and drink after the effects of the anaesthetic have worn off.
Complications of an anal fistula
Complications from an anal fistula are usually the result of fistula surgery and can include infection, bowel incontinence or the fistula returning.