What is the treatment for anal fistulas?

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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