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What is Anal Fistula?

Anal fistula is an abnormal connection or tunnel between the anal canal, rectum, anus and the perianal skin, most commonly developed from abscesses in the anal glands around the rectum and anus region; in some rare cases, these can be caused by concretion, actinomyces infection, or the ulceration of malignant tumors. Because the anal fistula tunnels run in the region of the anal sphincter muscle and tend to be long, narrow, winding, the pus trapped therein cannot be easily drained; if the outside opening of the tunnel heals, recurrent abscesses may develop and may lead to repeated acute inflammation, with possible induration along the tunnel wall. Major symptoms are recurring painful inflammation around the anus region, discharging pus when turned ulcerous. Types of fistulas include: simple, complicated, high location, low location, blind and internal, blind and external, and horseshoe.