Anal fistula is one of the common diseases in the colorectal area. In the past few decades, anal fistula has become quite prevalent among the Indians.
Anal fistula is a condition where an abnormal tract grows to connect the anorecatl mucosa and the exterior anus skin. Anal fistula may be present de novo or could result due to an anorectal abscess. The condition of anal fistula is often asscoiated with pain, irritation, inconvenience and morbidity.
The condition of fistula can not be treated with medications and is believed that surgical treatment is the most effective clinical cure. The permamnet treatment of anal fistula does not necessarily end with just the surgery; post operative fecal incontinence, and the rate of recurrence of fistulas cannot be ignored. Reports suggest that the rate of fistula recurrence goes from 10% to as high as 57%. On top of that, if the fistula is not trained in the first surgery, the fistula surgery might require to be repeated which has a risk of leading to incontinence. Thus, it is extremely important to get the best surgical treatment at the first time itself.
What is the best treatment for anla fistula?
There are various treatment savailable for anal fistula, viz, fistulotomy, fistulectomy, seton placement, advancement flap, fibrin glue fixation, and laser fistulectomy. Additionally, fistula can also be treated with Ayurvedic remedies.
It is to be noted that the right treatment for anal fistula depends on multiple factors. The patient, most importantly, should find a surgical treatment which can reduce healing time and guarantee no recurrence of the fistula.
When compared the benefits, laser fitulectomy is considered to be much more effective than any of the above mentioned other traditional surgical methods.
Before concluding the best treatment for anal fistula, let’s analyse the various treatment options for anal fistula:
- 1. Fistulectomy
Fistulectomy is a surgical process in which the surgeon eliminates the fistula tract completely. The process is normally carried out under the influence of general anesthesia. Once the fistula tract is drained, the surgeon allows the groove to heal. The surgical process has a risk of damaging the sphincter muscles which can alter cause fecal incontinence in patients. Experienced surgeons recommend this process only in case of complex fistulas.
- 2. Ksharsutra
This one is an ancient Ayurvedic technique of fistula treatment. In this process, a thread coated with Ayurvedic preparations is led inside the fistula tract. The thread which is generally alkaline in nature can cause irritation in the tract which causes the tract to get inflammed. This ayurvedic treatment allows continuous drainage of pus, dirt and debris from the tract. This is a non-invasive treatment and requires no cuts and stitches. However, the downside of the treatment is that multiple sessions are required for the treatment The ayurvedic treatment rarely treats any complex fistula and leaves scope for recurrence.
- 3. Laser fitulectomy
The laser surgery for fistula treatment is the most advanced of all treatments. The treatment is carried out under the influence of general anesthesia. It takes 30-40 minutes for the surgical treatment to get over. In this process, a laser probe is inserted into the fistula tract with a defined amount of laser energy. The laser energy, when emitted into the tract, destructs the fistula tract allowing it to collapse. The laser surgery has an excellent healing rate compared to any other conventional treatments. The treatment works best for the complex fistulas and there is scope of postoperative incontinence. Since there are no big incisions made int he process, there are no chances of any wounds and injuries in th anal area.
Why is laser surgery considered the best treatment for anla fistula?
Here are a few benefits of the laser treatment for anal fistula which makes it the best available treatment for anal fitsula:
– Short surgical procedure
– The process is minimally invasive
– Heals faster than any conventional surgeries
– Daycare procedure
– Almost a painless procedure
– Patient can return to normal routine in lesser time
– Negligible chances of recurrence
When can a person return home after laser surgery?
The patient can return home the same day after the surgery or in some cases, might need to stay at hospital for the night and return home the next day. Laser surgery is usually performed on a daycare basis.
After discharge, the patient should take rest for a few days but not lead a sedentary life. The patient should try to walk short distances everyday which would facilitate quick recovery.
The patient might need to wear a pad until complete recovery. Regular exercise helps a person return to normal life as early as possible.