M. Grant Liska, BS¹; Marcus Lester R. Suntay, MD, FPCS, FPSPS, FPALES²
¹University of Central Florida College of Medicine
²Philippine Children’s Medical Center
Fistula-in-ano is a chronic abnormal communication between the anal canal and, usually, the perianal skin. It can be described as a hollow tract that is lined with granulation tissue and connects a primary opening inside the anal canal to a secondary opening in the perianal skin. It usually originates from the anal glands and is frequently the result of a previous anal abscess. Anal fistulae present with pain, swelling, pruritus, skin irritation, and purulent or bloody drainage. Most anal fistulae are diagnosed based on clinical findings, but complex and deep anal fistulae usually require imaging studies such as CT scan or MRI to delineate the tract.
Currently, there is no medical treatment available and surgery is almost always necessary. A simple intersphincteric fistula can often be treated with fistulotomy or fistulectomy, while trans-sphincteric and suprasphincteric fistulae are treated by placement of a seton to maintain drainage and induce fibrosis. Extrasphincteric fistula treatment depends on the anatomy and etiology of the fistula.
This article presents the case of a 1-year-old male with a history of recurrent perianal infection, which led to the development of an anal fistula. The anal fistula was noted to be superficial, and a fistulotomy was performed.