Discover the Difference between Fistula in Ano and Perianal Abscess

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Perianal Abscess and Perianal Fistula are related but different conditions a person may suffer from. Both these terms often confuse people, but it is important to understand the similarities and differences between Perianal Abscess and Perianal Fistula. You need to be aware of these problems.

Our renowned Anorectal Surgeon Dr. Kamlesh Ram shares information about Perianal Abscess vs. Perianal Fistula.

Difference Between Perianal Abscesses and Perianal Fistulas

Perianal Abscess vs. Perianal Fistula

An abscess means a collection of pus and perianal means near the anus. So, a Perianal Abscess is a condition when pus collects near the anal region. Abscess causes pain; it causes you discomfort.

When we talk about Perianal Abscess causes, some of the reasons are bacteria in the digestive tract that enter the anus through cuts or lesions and cause infections.

Now, about Perianal Fistula. Fistula refers to a tunnel-shaped tract, while Perianal means around the anus. So, Perianal Fistula means the formation of a tunnel between the rectum/anal canal and the skin surrounding the anus. When we understand why these develop, the reason is a perianal abscess. Perianal Fistulas are complications of ruptured, persistent, and recurrent Perianal Abscess.

Types of Perianal Fistulas vs. Perianal Abscesses

Perianal Fistulas have various types. Starting with the most common one- Here, a single tunnel extends from the anal canal to the skin. Second is the complex type of Perianal Fistula. Multiple tracts, branching, or connections to other organs (the rectum or vagina) form in Complex Perianal Fistulas. Lastly, when the fistula doesn't have any external opening, it causes recurrent abscesses and is called a Blind-Ended Fistula. Contrary to fistulas, Perianal Abscesses have no classification/type. Treatments become necessary in every case. Consulting at a Surgical Hospital can help you with diagnosis and therapy based on the signs and symptoms.

Perianal Abscess and Perianal Fistula Symptoms

Perianal abscesses cause severe pain around the anus. It intensifies when you have a bowel movement or sit for a long time. Even with Perianal Fistulas, you suffer from pain in the anal region.

Swelling around the anus is another sign of both Perianal Abscess and Fistula. The only difference between the Perianal Abscess and Perianal Fistula related to this is, in the fistula, there is a visible lump near the opening.

Warm skin
In Perianal Abscess, the skin around the abscess becomes red and warm. Similar to this, warmth and tenderness occur when you have Perianal Fistula.

A distinct symptom of the Perianal Fistula is the continuous discharge of pus, blood, or foul-smelling fluid from the fistula opening near the anus. Since there is no tunnel or tract in the Perianal Abscess, this symptom doesn't occur.

Perianal Abscess and Perianal Fistula Diagnosis

Both Perianal Abscesses and Fistulas diagnoses need physical and clinical examination, including rectal examinations. To confirm these conditions, you may need to undergo MRIs and ultrasounds. Any specialist focuses on a complete assessment of your rectal region to avoid missing out on any details or findings.

Perianal Abscess vs. Perianal Fistula Treatment

Abscess is a pus build-up condition, so you need an operation to get that pus drained. After this, the doctor prescribes medications for pain relief or other concerns. You may even need a catheter in some situations. Sitz baths also help with post-Perianal Abscess Treatment.

When it comes to treating the Perianal Fistula, surgery is the preferred option. It is necessary to remove the fistula tunnel and let it heal completely. Doctors often help your fistula heal by using procedures like Laser surgery, fistulectomy, seton, LIFT etc. Again, medicines help treat infection (if any) and even for post-surgical pain or other effects.

Can a Perianal Abscess or Fistula be Cured on Its Own?

Very minor perianal abscesses may drain and heal on their own, but it's risky because abscesses have complications. About your question about How to Cure Fistula , surgery is the only treatment or cure. Laser surgery is safe and effective. You heal faster, and with that, you have less chance of suffering from fistula again or getting any complications.

How Do You Know If Your Abscess is a Fistula?

If you're suffering from unbearable pain, find swelling, and feel drainage in the area where you had an abscess, it's most probably that you have a Perianal Fistula. These are small openings near the previously healed abscess spot. If you feel a fistula, Dr. Ram can help you with an accurate diagnosis and an appropriate treatment.

How to Avoid Fistula After An Abscess?

You can avoid Perianal Abscess from becoming a Perianal Fistula by taking proper wound care. Avoid anything that is a risk factor for fistula formation. Some tips are to keep the area clean and dry. Make regular dressing changes as prescribed. Do not compromise on maintaining hygiene. If you have some medical condition and notice any signs of infection or recurrence, hurry for a consultation.

No matter what and how many differences between a Perianal Abscess and a Perianal Fistula, you cannot avoid treatment from an expert Proctologist. If you are looking for an expert, Dr. Ram at Advanced Surgical Hospital is the one whom you should consult for Abscess or Fistula Treatment in Ahmedabad.

Here, you get the advanced and upgraded facility of Laser treatments for fistula and abscess. So, book an appointment if you have any symptoms or you think you may be at risk of Perianal Abscesses or Perianal Fistula. Either find more information on our website or give us a call to schedule a consultation!