There are numeral surgical treatment options available, depending on the positioning of the anal fistula including advancement flap procedures, fibrin glue and fistulotomy, according to WebMD. Most surgical procedures for anal fistulas are done on an outpatient basis, but larger fistulas may require patients to stay at the hospital for a short time.
Common symptoms of anal fistulas include swelling and pain around the anal area, anal abscesses, fatigue, chills, bleeding, skin irritation near the anus and pain when making a bowel movement, according to Cleveland Clinic. Most fistulas of the anus come from reoccurring anal abscesses. Other causes of fistulas include Crohn's disease, sexually transmitted diseases, cancer and trauma.
Proper diagnosis of anal fistulas may require the patient to see a specialist. During the diagnosis, the specialist will go over the patient's medical history and their symptoms and perform a physical examination. Techniques used to diagnose anal fistulas include the use of a scope to look at the inside of the patient's anal canal, an ultrasound or using a long probe inserted into the opening of the fistula to determine where it opens up inside.
After surgical treatment of anal fistulas, complications may occur, including difficulty controlling bowel movements. To reduce discomfort after surgery, it can help to take warm baths and use stool softeners on a short-term basis.