Q. Will anal fistula heal on its own?

Answered by Dr. Happykumar Kagathara and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.


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Image: Will anal fistula heal on its own?

Hi doctor,

I was diagnosed with fistula-in-ano before eight years. I just consulted multiple physicians and surgeons. They all said to wait and watch and put me on antibiotics. Two years later, my fistula has closed on its own and there is no pus discharge or abscess forming. The healing was fast and since then I have no problem at all. I do get some itching problem in the opening area when I do not follow a proper diet and eat any junk food or spicy food. If I sit for a long time in the same position, then I can feel some pain in the same area, but there is no pus or abscess. But, there is a scar in the area where the fistula opening was and when I touch it, it feels different than that of the other skin area. Can I consider this as my fistula has healed on its own? Is there any other problem that I should consider? What are the other precautions I have to take in order to make the area feel more comfortable? Is there any chance that the fistula can spread to other parts internally?

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Dr. Happykumar Kagathara
Medical Gastroenterology, Surgical Gastroenterology


Welcome to icliniq.com.

  • Fistula-in-ano is a surgical condition and cannot be cured by medicines only. Yes, antibiotic has minor role just to prevent infection.
  • If fistula tract develops an infection then from which an abscess will develop and later the fistula tract may extend.
  • External fistula opening has fibrous tissue, which does not feel like normal skin. As this tissue is fragile, you may develop a small amount of bleeding while itching.
  • For precaution, take all measures to prevent constipation, as hard straining is an aggravating factor for fistula.
  • During surgery, the doctor removes fistula tract entirely and keep the raw area open to avoid the chance of infection and for good healing. This requires regular dressing and care.

Investigations to be done:

Digital rectal examination, proctoscopy and fistulogram.

Probable diagnosis:


Treatment plan:

Surgical excision of fistula.

Preventive measures:

Prevent constipation.

Regarding follow up:

For further information consult a medical gastroenterologist online.---> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/medical-gastroenterologist

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