Dr. Hoffman: Anal fistulas have many causes, and as such, there are also many cures. Most chronic fistulas require some type of operation and there are many of them depending on the extent and depth of the fistula. Operations include simple fistulotomy or opening the fistula tract, placement of a seton which is something that looks like a rubber band. This is a technique that we use to help the fistula drain and mature, so that a further surgical procedure which is corrective could be used to solve the problem.
Other operations include using fibrin glue, placing a fistula plug, forming an advancement flap to cover the fistula and allow it to heal, and LIFT (ligation of intersphincteric fistula tract).
All of these techniques have their advantages and disadvantages. A colon and rectal surgeon, also known as a proctologist, will help you through the process of treating fistulas. The board certified surgeons of Los Angeles Colon and Rectal Surgical Associates will be able to answer your questions about fistulas and other diseases of the colon, rectum and anus. You can schedule a confidential consultation by calling (310)273-2310.