Know the various types of anal fistula

know the types of anal fistula

Know the various types of anal fistula

Anorectal conditions that are extremely painful can be risky. Meanwhile, relying on it to fade away on its own is not advisable. Hence, before the condition turns into a serious issue consult your doctor. An anal fistula is a tunnel that forms between the inside of the anus and the skin surrounding it. This blog will drive you into the world of types of anal fistula and how to diagnose it.

How to diagnose anal fistula

When performing a physical examination, doctors can detect the majority of anal fistulas but, sometimes the external opening may be closed. In such cases, your doctor may use a lighted scope, such as an anoscope or proctoscope, to locate the fistula’s internal source.

Sometimes, to identify the infection at the fistula’s origin, doctors may inject hydrogen peroxide into the external opening.In addition, to determine the path of your fistula, your doctor may perform imaging tests(radiology). These tests include

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)-This can assist doctors in tracking the tunnel’s path and determining how it affects your muscles and other organs.

Endoscopic ultrasound-A small illuminated camera and a tiny ultrasound probe are used during endoscopic ultrasound to look within your anus.


An X-ray of your fistula taken by your doctor following dye injection is known as a fistulogram. Further, the path of the fistula will be highlighted by this dye.

What are the various types of anal fistula?

Anal fistulas are categorized based on how close they are to your anal sphincter muscles. Moreover, to effectively treat an anal fistula, it is critical to identify its type. The types of anal fistula are listed below

Intersphincteric anal fistula

Sphincters are circular muscles that control the body’s ability to open and close pathways and control the passage of things like bile, urine, and feces. This kind of fistula is situated in the space between the anus’s internal and external sphincters. It is the most prevalent kind of anal fistula and is typically brought on by an anal gland infection.

Transsphincteric fistula

It passes through the anus’s exterior and internal sphincter muscles. Usually, an infection that arises from an abscess is the cause of it. Further, trans sphincteric fistulas are quite difficult to treat and may need a more complex procedure.

Suprasphincteric fistula

These fistulas pass around your external sphincter after passing through your internal sphincter. Consequently, they avoid the external sphincter but pass the puborectal muscle and internal sphincter. Infections that spread from abscesses tend to be the reason of it.

Extrasphincteric fistula

This type of fistula passes through the two sphincter muscles. This less common variety is not from the anal gland; instead, it usually originates from your rectum instead of your anus.

Superficial anal fistula

This fistula travels through the surrounding skin from the lowest portion of your anal canal, beneath your anal glands, and bypasses your muscles. This kind is not derived from the anal gland.

Treatment may be more difficult for anal fistula if it affects a large portion of your sphincter muscles. When fixinganal fistula, a special care has to be taken to prevent hurting these muscles.

To summarize

Thus, to decide how to treat your fistula, your doctor must be aware of its path. Based on the pathway, the exact type of anal fistula can be detected and suitable treatment will be given. Meanwhile, you must see your doctor as soon as possible to make this condition easier to treat.

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