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Causes of Fistula

Explore the often misunderstood condition of fistula as we delve into its causes, symptoms, and available treatment options in this informative article.

  • 11 Oct 2023
  • 3 min read

Fistula, or an abnormal connection between two different organ systems, organs, vessels, or cavities is a rare but serious health condition that can have numerous underlying causes. Whether it has been present since birth in the form of congenital disorders or acquired later in life due to trauma, fistulas can greatly impact quality of life and are often painful and uncomfortable symptoms. Here we will take a closer look at the various causes of fistulas and other factors that can contribute to its formation.


How is Fistula Caused?

The fistula mostly results from an infection of the gland. Symptoms of anal fistula include anal discomfort, irritation, swelling, redness, and fluid drainage around the anus. Reasons for fistula occurrence include:

  • Fistulas either form between organ-to-skin openings or between different organs. Fistulas usually develop due to chronic inflammation of tissues, either due to injury or disease.
  • Anal fistulas usually develop as a result of a perianal abscess formed over an infected anal gland. Chronic inflammation and infection result in the erosion of nearby tissues and the formation of pus. Pus needs drainage and, therefore, may create its own drainage channel outside through an opening in the skin.
  • If the fistula does not have an opening for the drainage channel, then it needs to be created by the healthcare provider to drain the abscess.
  • Risk factors for the development of anal fistulas include:
  • Infection of the anal gland
  • Injury or trauma to the anal area
  • Inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn’s disease
  • Sexually transmitted disease of the anal area
  • Surgery or radiation therapy for anal cancer
  • Previously drained anal abscess.

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Fistula is a potentially life-threatening health condition that should never be taken lightly. Fortunately, there are ways to both manage and treat the condition depending on its root cause. If you have been diagnosed with a fistula or believe you may be at risk due to an existing medical condition or lifestyle, it’s important to seek professional help as soon as possible. Ultimately, understanding the causes of fistula — even if you don't have the condition — can play an important role in preventing its development in the future. Also, ensure that you have a health insurance plan in place to safeguard yourself against any financial stress.


Disclaimer: The above blog aims to provide general information about health and related topics. Any information provided in this blog, website or in any linked materials is not intended and should not be considered, or used as a substitute for any medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It is important that you contact your Doctor before starting a new medicine or health regime.

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