Anal Abscess Anal Fistula

Anal abscesses and fistulas are common conditions. They most commonly arise from an infection of a gland in the anal canal. When an abscess forms it is usually treated with a combination of antibiotics and drainage. Only a minority of abscesses will go onto form a “fistula”.

An anal fistula is an abnormal tunnel that runs from the previously infected gland on the inside of the anus, to the external skin surface. It almost always requires surgical therapy to remove. Surgery for fistulas can be at times very simple, but at times can be complex and require multiple stages or attempts. Often a “seton”, which is a rubberband like drain tube, needs to be placed into the fistula tract to allow any residual infection to drain away prior to any further surgery being undertaken. One of the problems with fistula surgery is that there is a risk to damaging the muscles around the anus (the “sphincters”). More recently, there have been a number of techniques developed that may decrease the risk of damage to the muscles. These include novel therapies including the “LIFT” and “Endorectal Advancement Flap” procedures to maximise your outcome with minimal risk of impairing your continence. As almost every fistula is different, please discuss your situation with your colorectal surgeon or Mr Eugene Ong to see what is most suited to your case.

For an information sheet about anal abscesses and fistulas produced by the CSSANZ please click the button below.

Information Sheet

To learn more about the “LIFT” and “Endorectal Advancement Flap” procedures, please click on the buttons below.

Endorectal Advancement FlapLIFT procedure