1. What are the types of fistula and symptoms?
A fistula is an abnormal internal connection formed between two parts. It may happen because of trauma, surgery, infection, or inflammation. Fistula can be of 4 types mainly, blind, complete, horseshoe, and incomplete.
A blind fistula is a connection between two organs or vessels but opens only at one end. The complete fistula has an opening at both ends. A horseshoe kind of fistula connects the anus to the surface. An incomplete fistula has a skin tube that is internally closed, leaving no connections to the internal structure.
Smelly discharge of pus, skin irritation, swelling and redness around the area, and high temperature are some of the common symptoms of fistula.
2. What is the difference between piles and fistula?
Piles and fistula are not the same. Piles are the swelling of a blood vessel in a rectal area where a Fistula is an abnormally formed connection between internal organs or vessels in the anal region.
3. What will happen if a fistula is left untreated?
Fistula cannot be cured without proper fistula treatment by a general surgeon or gastrointestinal surgeon(doctors for fistula)). A fistula is not life-threatening in most cases, but it lowers the quality of life of a person. If the fistula becomes septic, it can cause issues like the weakening of rectal muscles. Weakened rectal muscles may cause you to excrete without your knowledge. The risk of developing a cancerous condition is also a matter of concern.
4. How to diagnose anal fistula?
If you are experiencing any smelly discharge, pain, redness, and swelling around the anus, you should consult a fistula doctor as soon as possible. As a part of fistula treatment, the doctor will physically examine you first. You may have to undergo various examinations like sigmoidoscopy, Ultrasound, MRI, Contrast tests, blue dye tests, and anorectal manometry. These tests help the doctor measure the grade of the fistula and decide on the best treatment plan accordingly. It is also helpful to differentiate fistula from hernia or fissures.
5. Is anal fistula disease contagious?
A fistula can be transmitted sexually. A person with other sexually transmitted diseases like syphilis and chlamydia is at high risk of having a fistula.