Anal Fistula and Fissures

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Anal Fistula and Fissures

Fistulas and fissures can cause intense discomfort, but fortunately, they’re very treatable. At Arizona Preferred Surgeons in the Arrowhead area in Glendale, Arizona, the board-certified surgeons offer the finest personalized care. You’ll work with one surgeon throughout the surgery process, from consultation to surgery to follow-up appointments, so that you’ll always get the support you need. Call the office now or book your consultation online.

Anal Fistula and Fissures Q & A

What are anal fistulas and fissures?

Fistulas and fissures are two different problems within the anus.


Fistulas occur when an abnormal tunnel forms between two places in your body. The most common fistulas are anorectal fistulas, which start in the anal canal and end in the skin surrounding the anal opening. Fistulas can also connect the anus or colon to the vagina in women.

Many things can cause fistulas to develop, including Crohn’s disease, anal gland infections, colon or rectum ulcers, diverticulitis, and tuberculosis.


Fissures are visible tears in the skin around the anus. They can develop because of chronic constipation or frequent loose stools. Although it’s less common, inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis), infections, and tumors can also cause fissures.

Fistulas and fissures are sometimes confused with hemorrhoids, a different problem in which blood vessels around the anus swell and create a lump. But you can have hemorrhoids at the same time as fistulas and/or fissures.

What are the symptoms of anal fistulas and fissures?


The symptoms of fistulas include:


  • Anal pain
  • Anal swelling
  • Irritated anal skin
  • Bloody or smelly anal discharge
  • Pain during bowel movements
  • Bleeding
  • Fever
  • Tiredness
  • Chills

Fissures can cause some of the same symptoms, including:

  • Pain during bowel movements
  • Pain for a few hours following a bowel movement
  • Bright red blood in your stool or on the toilet tissue
  • Visible crack in the skin around your anus
  • Small skin tag or bump around your anus

Because fistula and fissure symptoms can be similar to those of other colon and rectum disorders, it’s essential to get an accurate diagnosis so that you can choose the proper treatment.

How does surgical treatment of anal fistulas and fissures work?

There are many surgical approaches to treating fistulas and fissures. The goal is to reduce your discomfort and allow your body to heal correctly. So Arizona Preferred Surgeons offers several solutions to achieve this.

For fissures, your surgery can include a cut in your anal sphincter muscle, which then reduces discomfort and encourages healing. Fistula surgery generally involves opening the abnormal tunnel to let it heal in a flat position.

Arizona Preferred Surgeons also offers advanced approaches to treating complicated cases. Your surgeon will recommend the best approach to ease or eliminate your symptoms.

For help with fistulas and fissures, call Arizona Preferred Surgeons now or click the provided booking tool.