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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 88-93

The science, techniques, and art of anal fistula treatment

Department of Surgery, King George's Medical University, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Arshad Ahmad
Department of Surgery, King George's Medical University, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/IJCS.IJCS_21_20

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Anal fistula is a diverse disease. There is no single treatment which is effective for all types of anal fistulas. The management of simple anal fistula is straightforward, and a fistulotomy is recommended. However, in complex anal fistula if fistulotomy or fistulectomy is performed, it is combined with primary sphincter repair. Alternatively, a sphincter sparing procedure may be performed for complex anal fistula. The basic principle of sphincter preserving surgery for anal fistula involves three basic steps: disconnection of the tract from the anal canal, deepithelialization of the tract, and drainage from the external opening. The disconnection of the fistula tract from the anal canal can be achieved by direct closure of the internal opening, with endoanal advancement flap or with ligation of intersphincteric fistula tract procedure. After disconnecting the fistula from the anal canal, the remaining tract, which is now converted into a sinus is cleaned and deepithelialized. The tract is deepithelialized either mechanically by curetting or by using an energy source-like LASER or endocautery. The external opening of the tract is widened so that it does not close and continues to drain until the fistula is completely healed. The art of anal fistula treatment involves the assessment of the extent of the disease and selecting appropriate treatment strategy for a particular patient. None of the procedures are technically very demanding; however, selecting the right procedure for a particular patient is important.

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