Anal abscess and anal fistula



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    The Division of Digestive Surgery
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Christian Toso
Christian Toso
Head of Division

Anal fistula  is a pathological communication between the anal canal and the skin, developed after inflammation or infection of the area, usually following a para-anal abscess. Other conditions, such as Crohn´s disease  can also cause anal fistulas.

Para-anal abscess is the first symptom of anal fistula

A usual manifestation of anal fistula is anal abscess due to the accumulation of pus, or by the discharge of pus at the level of the anal area caused by the drainage of an abscess through a fistula. Anal fistulas are classified according to their location relative to the anal sphincters.

The diagnosis is essentially based on a clinical examination and anoscopy , but may require, in complex cases, an endo -anal ultrasound , a CT scan or even an MRI.

INFO +  Rectal echo-endoscopy (FR)

Surgical treatment of anal fistula

The treatment of anal abscess in the acute phase includes surgical drainage under local or general anesthesia and the placement of a drainage thread in the fistula path (named Seton drain). Depending on the type of fistula, treatment consists in the surgical removal of the fistula path with or without a mucous flap. Other more specific techniques can be used.

Crohn´s disease
Chronic inflammation of the entire gastro-intestinal tract
INFO +  Crohn´s disease
Direct visual examination of the anal canal using an anoscope (rigid tube allowing to look into the anus)
Last update : 04/01/2022