Perianal fistula is an abnormal connection between the epithelial lining of the anal canal and the perianal skin. Perianal fistulas usually occur in people with Crohn’s disease or another type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), but they can also occur in people without IBD. Perianal fistulas are thought to be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Treatment of perianal fistulas often requires surgery, but medical management may be attempted in some cases.
This condition is not only uncomfortable but can also lead to serious health complications if left untreated. Perianal fistulas can cause a lot of discomfort and may lead to bleeding, infection, and abscesses. If you have a perianal fistula, you may need to see a doctor for treatment.
What is the main cause of fistula?
Perianal fistulas are most commonly caused by an infection or inflammation of the anal glands. These glands are located on either side of the anal opening and produce a lubricating mucus that helps keep the area moist. If the glands become infected, they can swell and block the ducts that drain them, causing an abscess. If the abscess is not treated, it can rupture and form a fistula.
Other causes of perianal fistulas include Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, sexually transmitted diseases, and trauma to the anus or rectum.
The most common symptom of a perianal fistula is drainage of pus or blood from the anus. This drainage can cause pain, itching, and swelling around the anus. Other symptoms may include:
- Constipation or diarrhea
- Weight loss
If the fistula is infected, you may also have abscesses (pockets of infection) in the tissue around the anus. These abscesses can be painful and may need to be drained by your doctor. You may also have other symptoms, such as pain during bowel movements or difficulty controlling your bowel movements.
Prevention of Perianal Fistulas
There are a few things that can be done to help prevent perianal fistulas from developing. First, it is important to keep the anal area clean. This means gently cleaning the area with mild soap and water after each bowel movement. It is also important to avoid any kind of trauma to the area, such as using harsh toilet paper or engaging in anal sex. If you have any kind of chronic medical condition that could potentially lead to perianal fistulas, such as Crohn’s disease, it is important to get treatment and follow your doctor’s recommendations.
Perianal fistulas are a common condition that can cause significant pain and discomfort. Although the exact cause is not always known, there are treatments available to help reduce symptoms and improve quality of life. It is important to speak with your doctor about any concerns you have regarding this condition and be proactive in finding a treatment plan that works for you. With proper care, many people find considerable relief from their perianal fistula symptoms.