An anal fistula is a passage (tract) from the anal canal
to a hole in the skin near the anus. This abnormal condition may occur after
rectal surgery, after an abscess in the rectal area, or as a complication of
Crohn's disease (a form of inflammatory bowel disease).
Symptoms of an anal fistula include itchy, irritated skin from
fluids passing out of the rectum through the hole in the skin. The fluid
usually contains mucus and small amounts of blood. An anal fistula may become
infected. When infection develops, an anorectal abscess can form.
When an anal fistula is suspected, a visit to a doctor
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Arvydas D. Vanagunas, MD - Gastroenterology
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