A fistula is something that you cannot cure by consuming medicines, nor does it treat itself over time. If you have a fistula it is necessary that you visit a doctor immediately, so he/she can determine the ways to cure your fistula -by using the Fistulotomy Surgery or conducting a Laser Fistula Surgery.
What is an Anal Fistula?
A fistula can occur in between two organs of the human body. There can be different classifications of a fistula depending on the concerning organs where it occurs. If a fistula starts developing at the end of the bowel and the skin of your anus, then that is classified as an Anal Fistula.
There are four types of anal fistula:
- Extrasphincteric Fistula
- Suprasphincteric Fistula
- Transphincteric Fistula
- Intersphincteric Fistula
Each one of these can be cured by conducting Fistulotomy or a Laser Fistula Surgery. Both the surgeries will treat your anorectal tissue and repair it.
Every doctor will recommend you to undergo aLaser Fistula Surgery over the traditional Fistulotomy surgery. Here are the reasons that explain why.
In Fistulotomy Surgery, the doctors cut open the fistula channel and remove the elongated parts of the dead tissue, leaving the tract intact. Then they close the cut with a series of stitches, but the tract left open.
When you undergo a Fistulotomy Surgery, you see a long-term cure for your fistula. But there are risks involved based on the position where the fistula has developed.
Risks Concerning Fistulotomy Surgery
After going through with the Fistulotomy surgery, the patient is going to experience problems related to incontinence majorly; this is because of the fistula tracts that starts developing near the anal sphincter.
There are two types of incontinence that the patient can struggle from after undergoing the Fistulotomy Surgery.
- Gas Incontinence
There is an involuntary muscle very close to the sphincter that handles the release of gas and liquid out of the rectum. If during the surgery, any harm happens to the sphincter muscle, then the patient will no longer be able to control the release of gas and liquid out of the rectum. Around 5% of the patients have experienced this problem after their fistula is treated using Fistulotomy Surgery.
- Fecal Incontinence
When you undergo a Fistulotomy Surgery, the most significant risk is the damage to the sphincter muscle. If it gets damaged, then you will not be able to control the passing of not just the gas but the stool as well. This form of stool incontinence of the stool is called Fecal Incontinence; you will lose control over excretion of solid waste from our body completely.
Since the Fistulotomy Surgery includes treatment over an open wound, there are higher chances of an infection spreading in your body -this is because the open wound will be very close to your body’s solid waste. Proper cleaning of the wound before stitching it close is necessary to prevent the infection from happening.
- Fistula Will Develop Again
There is a 15.6% chance for the fistula to develop again after the patient has undergone the Fistulotomy Surgery.
How Long Does It Take To Heal From A Fistulotomy Surgery?
After completion of the surgery, it can take around a few days or week before the patient can continue with a healthy lifestyle.
Laser Fistula Surgery
In Laser Fistula Surgery, doctors use laser probes to cure the fistula without cutting the channels; the laser alone can remove the dead tissue conveniently.
There are far lesser risks involved in undergoing Laser Fistula Surgery.
Why Should You Consider Laser Fistula Surgery?
During the laser fistula surgery, there’s no harm sphincter muscle in any way, so your incontinence related to gas or feces is much lower in terms of occurance than that of Fistulotomy Surgery.
There was a survey related to the incident of incontinence after 35 patients underwent laser fistula surgery, and none of those patients reported any incontinence. Although, if some patients still face incontinence after the surgery, it is not strong but rather mild.
Since the wound is not open for the treatment, there are very bleak chances for infection to occur due to the laser fistula surgery.
Will Fistula Develop Again?
Even when the fistula has been removed entirely, still there are chances that it might develop again. But, for those patients who opted to remove their fistula through laser fistula surgery, the chances of it growing again are meagre.
How Long Does It Take To Heal From A Laser Fistula Surgery?
One of the main benefits of choosing Laser Fistula Surgery over Fistulotomy Surgery is that it heals faster. The patient can go through a regular day within 24 hours of undergoing Laser Fistula Surgery.
If you are suffering from Anal Fistula, we recommend that you go for the advanced laser technology rather than the tradition cutting-open-and-sewing-back method.