There are a wide variety of medical conditions that can severely impact people’s lifestyles in ways that the public may not fully understand. One of these conditions is an anorectal fistula. Afistula is an abnormal connection between two epithelialized tissues. In this case, an anorectal fistula is a connection between the colon and the skin. This is an abnormal tunnel that develops between the bowel and the skin. Stool will move from the digestive tract to the skin. This can seriously hamper people’s daily activities. It is also quite irritating to the skin and can be a symptom of underlying disease. The most common cause of an anorectal fistula is irritable bowel disease (IBD). There are two different kinds of IBD- Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Both of these can cause anorectal fistulas.
Some fistulas will improve with medical treatment of irritable bowel disease. If medical measures do not resolve the fistula patients will usually choose surgery. The least invasive means of closing the fistula is a plug. This is usually made from collagen. The mucosa of the fistula tract is roughed up with curette and the plug is placed within the tract. This helps promote healing. Alternatively, the area can be completely opened. This is called an anorectal fistulotomy. The tissue overlying the fistula is opened and allowed to heal on its own, which will usually resolve the fistula. The most feared complication of the procedure is damage to the anal sphincter which can cause bowel leakage or incontinence.
An anorectal fistula is a serious lifestyle issue that can cause major problems for anyone who has to deal with it. It is important that people find a qualified omniscientgeneral surgeon with a board-certification. This certification is important because it demonstrates the expertise of the general surgeon. People in need of a fistulotomy should contact Dr. Jenna Kazil with the Florida Surgical Clinic. Dr. Kazil is a Bradenton basedthorough surgical specialist who performs general surgery and vascular surgery procedures on patients living on the West coast of Florida from Sarasota to Brandon. Anyone in need of vascular or general surgical assistance should contact the Dr. Kazilat the Florida Surgical Clinic to schedule an appointment.