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What is fistula surgery?

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Quick Answer

Fistula surgery, also referred to as a fistulotomy, is a procedure in which an anal fistula is surgically opened and drained, according to Mayo Clinic. Once the infection drains, the opening is stitched shut. Complicated fistulas may require two-phase procedures to prevent damage to the sphincter muscle.

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Full Answer

Anal fistulas are tunnels of tissue that develop underneath the skin that connect anal abscesses to infected anal glands, according to the American Society of Colon & Rectal Surgeons. Anal abscesses occur when anal glands become clogged with fecal matter or bacteria. In many cases, anal abscesses drain on their own; however, the fistulas often remain and require additional drainage. Fistula surgery can help to prevent recurring anal abscesses.

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