Recovery from surgery to treat an anal fistula involves prescription pain medication, large amounts of fiber, bulk laxatives and sitz baths, the American Society of Colon & Rectal Surgeons says. Fiber and laxatives soften stool passing through the anus and help prevent the constipation that often accompanies strong pain medications.
An anal fistula is a tunnel beneath the skin that connects an anal abscess to infected glands around the anus, according to the American Society of Colon & Rectal Surgeons. An anal abscess is an infected cavity near the anus or rectum that is filled with pus. This pus drains into the anus, but when a fistula is present, it may also drain from an opening that forms on the surface of the skin. To cure an anal fistula, surgery is almost always required.
Depending on the nature of the fistula, surgery may be either quite simple or very complicated, requiring multiple surgical sessions, the American Society of Colon & Rectal Surgeons says. The surgery to remove a fistula is often performed at the same time as the abscess is drained. The simplest type of surgery is a fistulotomy, where the internal opening of the abscess is connected to the external fistula opening, creating a groove that heals from the inside out.