When two parts of the body are not normally joined, the result is a fistula. Cancer treatment may be a factor in this. An uncommon cause of a fistula is cancer that has metastasized to an unaffected part of the body.
Cancer-related fistulas are extremely rare and might take months or even years to develop. In the pelvic region, they can occur (lower tummy between your hips). For example,
- Urinary and genital tracts
- The digestive and urinary systems
- The bladder or urethra and the rectum.
Fistulas in other regions of the body, such as the chest, are more rare as a result of cancer or cancer therapy. It can also arise from within the body and leave via the skin.
Fistulas can be physically and psychologically taxing. You can get assistance from a medical professional, such as a nurse practitioner or a fistula specialist doctor. When it comes to treating or managing the symptoms of a fistula, they can help.
Signs that indicate fistula:
It is common for a fistula to form in patients who have previously had an anorectal abscess. An anorectal abscess is characterized by the following symptoms:
- Redness around the area
- A nagging suspicion that something is wrong.
- Swelling and pain in the anus region
- Removal of any excess pus or liquid from the affected area
To avoid developing a fistula as a result of the infection, a person who has experienced these symptoms should contact a general surgeon. Reach out to a fistula hospital in coimbatore in case you notice any signs of fistula.
How common are fistulas?
50,000-100,000 new instances of fistulas are estimated to be diagnosed each year, states the WHO.
Avoiding the issue in the first place is the optimal course of action. Maintaining a balanced diet is an excellent strategy to prevent fistulas from forming. Smoking cessation is also critical to the healing of a fistula.
Various causes that can lead to fistula:
- In the case of an anal infection, the anal abscess bursts into the surrounding tissues, resulting in anal fistulae.
- This is a prevalent ailment among young adults, but it can strike anyone at any age.
- What causes some people to suffer from a fistula, but not others? Fistulas are more likely to occur if you smoke or have Crohn’s disease.
Understanding the complications if fistula is not treated in time:
Drainage, sepsis, perforation, and peritonitis are all possible outcomes of a fistula.
Fistula drainage and abscess:
More painful abscesses are caused when fistulas keep leaking foul-smelling fluid into the bloodstream.
When an unchecked bacterial infection spreads throughout the body, the outcome is a life-threatening condition known as sepsis, Sepsis is characterized by fever, rashes and chills as well as a high heart and breathing rate.
The peritoneum may become inflamed or infected as a result of an intestinal fistula.
Diagnostic procedures involved in identifying a fistula:
You may be sent to a colon and rectal disease expert by your general surgeon if you show signs of an anal fistula. The general surgeon will inquire about your medical history and symptoms. To find a fistula opening near your anal orifice during your physical exam, the general surgeon will look. Push on the affected area to see if it is inflamed and if pus leaks from it. Diagnosis can be aided by a variety of techniques, such as:
A thin, long probe is inserted via the fistula’s outer orifice. Finding the opening of a fistula can be done by injecting a specific dye.
Using this unique scope, your anal canal can be viewed.
These could include an ultrasound, which uses sound waves to create an image of the anal area. They may also include an MRI, which uses special magnets and a computer to create images of the area.
The advance treatment for fistula includes:
In order to minimize the possibility of impairing the patient’s ability to empty their bowels, treatment is carried out in a careful manner. Each patient must be evaluated on an individual basis for the most effective treatment.
It is expected that the sphincter muscles would be spared as much as possible during the treatment of an anal fistula. The location and complexity of the fistula, as well as the strength of the patient’s sphincter muscles, will often play a role.
Advancement Rectal Flap:
Core the tract, then cut a flap into the rectal wall to gain access to and remove the fistula’s internal entrance, then sew the flap down again. To reduce the quantity of sphincter muscle that needs to be sliced, this is typically done.
You can either: use a seton (a silk string or a rubber band) to:
- After creating scar tissue around some of the sphincter muscle with a knife, cut it.
- Over several weeks, let the seton gradually cut into the muscle.
- As a result, the seton may help to drain the fistula.
Fibrin Glue or Collagen plug:
As an alternative to cutting open a fistula, fibrin glue, which is formed from plasma protein, may be used to seal and repair it. After cleaning the tract and sewing the internal opening shut, the glue is administered via the external opening. It is also possible to seal and shut the fistula with a collagen protein plug.
Laser fistula treatment:
Laser radiation is transferred by radial fibre, which results in the destruction of the fistula epithelium. Only an experienced surgeon will be able to complete the treatment in less than a half an hour. An experienced surgeon will be able to diagnose the issue and treat it with the utmost care after doing so.
Conventional method to treat fistula:
A fistulotomy begins with a surgical probe used to locate the internal opening of the fistula. As a last step, the tract is opened and the contents are flushed before the incision is sewn shut to create a fistula.
There are many different types of fistula, some of which are more challenging than others. For example, if a horseshoe fistula is present, it is normally treated by laying open only a portion of one or both of the fistula’s external openings.
A considerable volume of muscle may necessitate more than one surgical procedure. If the complete tract isn’t located, the fistula surgery may have to be repeated. Consult a general surgeon in coimbatore to undergo the treatment of fistula.
Can fistulas heal on their own?
It is necessary to seek treatment for fistula tracts since they will not heal on their own. If the fistula is not treated for an extended length of time, there is an increased likelihood that cancer will develop in the fistula tract. Most fistulas are simple to treat. Either the tract or the fistula can be opened, or both the tract and the pocket that is contained inside it can be entirely removed.