Anal Fistulas Specialist

California Colorectal Surgeons

Colon and Rectal Surgery located in Beverly Hills, CA

Once an anal fistula develops, you have only one treatment option: surgical intervention. The physicians at California Colorectal Surgeons have extensive experience treating patients with an anal fistula using one of several advanced surgical techniques. If you develop pain and swelling in the anal area, call the office in Beverly Hills, California, or use the online booking feature to schedule an appointment.

Anal Fistulas Q & A

California Colorectal Surgeons

What causes an anal fistula?

A fistula is an abnormal connection that forms between two body parts that are usually separated. An anal fistula occurs when a link is created between an infected anal gland and the perianal skin surrounding the anus.

The anal fistula develops when excess pus from the abscessed gland seeps out and creates a small channel that breaks through the delicate skin around the anus.

Although it’s not as common as an infected gland, an anal fistula may also arise due to a complication of Crohn’s disease, anal fissures, or another infection.

What symptoms might I develop due to an anal fistula?

If you have an anal fistula, you’ll experience symptoms such as:

  • Red or itchy skin around the anal area
  • Pain and swelling around your anus
  • Drainage of pus from the fistula
  • Fever and chills

Once an anal fistula develops, it can’t be cured with medications like antibiotics. The only treatment is surgery.

How is an anal fistula diagnosed and treated?

Your physician at California Colorectal Surgeons can diagnose an anal fistula with an in-office examination. When you have a complex or deep fistula, you may also undergo imaging studies.

Surgical options for treating an anal fistula include:

Simple fistula

When your fistula is small and doesn’t involve a large amount of sphincter muscle, your surgeon performs a laser fistulotomy to open the drainage tract. This allows the fistula to heal on its own.

Complex fistula

Fistulas are complex when they have a long or deep tract, several tracts, or they involve the sphincter muscle. Your physician at California Colorectal Surgeons chooses the surgery that’s best for your condition and that causes the least muscle damage.

Three possible procedures for a complex fistula are:

Endorectal advancement flap

Using the rectal wall lining, your surgeon creates a flap, then uses it to close the inside opening of the fistula tract.

Ligation of intersphincteric fistula tract (LIFT)

The fistula tract is sutured closed at its inner and outer openings, and the tract is removed. The LIFT procedure preserves the sphincter muscle.

Anal fistula plug

Your surgeon plugs the fistula with a piece of material that fills the length of the tract. Over time, it promotes tissue healing.

If you develop pain around your anus, comprehensive care is available at California Colorectal Surgeons — call or book an appointment online.