Jump to navigation Jump to content. Recognizing the symptoms of a rectal fistula is one of the first steps toward receiving the treatment you need to find relief from this often painful condition. Most often caused by an abscess near the anus, a rectal fistula is a narrow channel that can develop in the tissue between the colon and the anal opening, often producing an external opening in the skin near the anus. After an anal abscess has been drained, a fistula can remain and cause significant pain as well as the danger of infection. There are five classifications of a rectal fistula, based on its location in relation to the sphincter muscles. No matter how it is classified, the symptoms of a rectal fistula are fairly consistent, with a hole in the skin near the anus being the most prominent sign that a fistula is present. Other symptoms include:. Another option involves the injection of fibrin glue into the fistula, with the hope that channel will heal from the inside without requiring additional surgery.
Symptoms of an anal fistula
An anal abscess is an infected cavity filled with pus found near the anus or rectum. Ninety percent of abscesses are the result of an acute infection in the internal glands of the anus. Occasionally, bacteria, fecal material or foreign matter can clog an anal gland and tunnel into the tissue around the anus or rectum, where it may then collect in a cavity called an abscess. An anal fistula also commonly called fistula-in-ano is frequently the result of a previous or current anal abscess. Normal anatomy includes small glands just inside the anus. The fistula is the tunnel that forms under the skin and connects the clogged infected glands to an abscess. A fistula can be present with or without an abscess and may connect just to the skin of the buttocks near the anal opening. Anal abscesses are classified by their location in relation to the structures comprising and surrounding the anus and rectum: perianal, ischioanal, intersphincteric and supralevator. The perianal area is the most frequent and the supralevator the least.
What is an anal fistula?
A rectovaginal fistula is an abnormal connection between the lower portion of your large intestine — your rectum — and your vagina. Bowel contents can leak through the fistula, allowing gas or stool to pass through your vagina. The condition may cause emotional distress and physical discomfort, which can impact self-esteem and intimacy. Talk with your doctor if you have signs and symptoms of a rectovaginal fistula, even if it's embarrassing. Some rectovaginal fistulas may close on their own, but most need surgical repair. Depending on the fistula's size and location, you may have minor symptoms or significant problems with continence and hygiene. Signs and symptoms of a rectovaginal fistula may include:. See your doctor if you experience any signs or symptoms of a rectovaginal fistula.
Anal fistula is the medical term for an infected tunnel that develops between the skin and the muscular opening at the end of the digestive tract anus. Most anal fistulas are the result of an infection that starts in an anal gland. This infection results in an abscess that drains spontaneously or is drained surgically through the skin next to the anus. The fistula then forms a tunnel under the skin and connects with the infected gland. Explore Mayo Clinic studies testing new treatments, interventions and tests as a means to prevent, detect, treat or manage this disease. Anal fistula care at Mayo Clinic. Mayo Clinic does not endorse companies or products.