Fistula is a hole formed between two organs in the body or between the organ and the skin. It is a hollow space and is mostly formed due to injuries, inflammations and infections after surgery. Fistulas occur in various parts or systems of the human body causing diseases and disorders. Some of them are:
Disorders of the eye and ear such as sinusitis, tear in ears etc
Disorders of the circulatory system and respiratory system leading to oxygen and blood related problems, and complications in breathing
Disorders of the digestive system
Several other areas
In women, vaginal fistula is a common problem caused due to surgeries, cancer treatment and bowel diseases.
For both men and women, gastrointestinal fistula is a common problem. Due to the opening, acids flow freely into stomach and intestinal areas causing infections and also spreading to other organs.
Anal fistula is very common when anal abscess or swelling in the tissue with pus does not heal properly.
Fistulectomy is the surgery to treat fistulas where doctors first examine the exact location of fistulas and the path to it. It is done by specialists where the fistula is filled with fibrin glue and plugged accordingly. Fistula treatment surgery is performed by different functional experts depending upon its location in the body. General anesthesia is given to the patients and the surgery takes a few hours depending on the location and intensity of fistula.
Endoscopic laser treatment for fistulas is being performed for more effective and accurate fistula treatment. This is a minimally invasive video-assisted procedure.
Anal fistula plug treatment is another sophisticated method where the plug is made up of mucosa that secretes mucus. It is placed inside the fistula tract and the internal opening is closed. This process is minimally invasive, allows faster recovery and avoids new wounds.
Need for surgery
Fistulas result in several complications and imbalances, affecting organs and leads to many other health complaints that can be risky and critical. Therefore, it is important to have fistula treatment surgery at the earliest with surgeon’s recommendation. After a certain point of time, the symptoms become stronger and the pain and emotional stress increase. When other means of treatment are not effective, it is advisable to consult a doctor for fistula surgery.
Admission to hospital a day in advance
Discuss your medical history, possible complications and bleeding with your doctor
You may be discharged the same day or a day later, depending on the condition and complications
Ample care and cautions should be taken with respect to lifestyle, diet and rest as per the doctor’s advise
Ask your doctor about side effects and relief
Fistula can never be cured: Surgery can cure fistulas with a possibility of early recovery and return to normalcy
Surgery is complex and chances of success are not great: This is a myth. Surgery is carefully done by experts and chances of success are very high
Fistulas lead to cancer: Fistulas are surely painful but they are not cancerous
Fistulas are permanent and come back: No, the fistula surgery can fix them permanently.