What is the treatment for anal fistulas?

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Most fistulas require surgery, with either the placement of a seton to drain the area of infection or a fistulotomy. A seton is a small plastic loop that is inserted into the fistula to allow it to drain freely and prevent infection.

For a fistulotomy, the physician surgically opens the fistula, flushes out its contents, and stitches it open or leaves it as is to heal. Part of the surgery usually requires cutting a small section of anal control muscles. Depending on the location of the fistula, there can be a minimal risk of developing minor fecal incontinence.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.