Anal fistula surgery

Surgery to remove anal fistulas

Our Lower GI and colorectal general surgeons specialise in treating anal fistulas

What is an anal fistula?

Anal fistulas are small tunnels that can develop between the end of your rectum and the skin near your anus. Fistulas can get better on their own. But in other cases, surgery may be the only way to get rid of them.

We specialise in various techniques for treating anal fistulas, including:

  • Fistulotomy. The fistula is cut open and laid out flat, but only if there's no risk to the anal sphincter.
  • Seton technique. This involves inserting a surgical thread through the fistula to make a loop and bring it to the surface.
  • Advancement flap procedure. Normally carried out after a fistulotomy to cover a fistula opening to prevent infections.
  • Bioprosthetic plug. This involves blocking the internal opening in a fistula to let it heal gradually. The outside opening can then be drained of pus.

Need to know

  • What type of surgery will I need? icon plus

    Your consultant's preferred surgical technique will depend on the type of fistula you have, its location and whether it crosses your anal sphincters. Whichever one they choose, you'll most likely be under general anaesthetic.
  • How to prepare for surgery icon plus

    You'll most likely be asked to attend a pre-procedure assessment, where your consultant or specialist nurse will explain the procedure. They'll also answer any questions you might have, and inform you of any risks and side effects involved.
  • After surgery and recovery icon plus

    Depending on the nature of your fistula, you may be able to go home on the day of your surgery. Otherwise, we'll transfer you to our recovery ward where we'll care for you until you're discharged.

    Your consultant will advise when you can get back to your usual routine, including work or exercise. Fistula surgery wounds can take several weeks to heal, and you may experience a little discharge and bleeding from the wound. Your consultant or specialist nurse will explain what else to expect during your post-op period.

Our GI consultants

We have a number of GI centres across the HCA UK group, with gastroenterologists and lower colorectal GI surgeons working together to manage and treat a range of lower GI conditions. 
Consultant with patient

Our locations

From complex surgery to straightforward procedures, we provide exceptional care across our network of hospitals, outpatient centres and specialist clinics.

Request an appointment

Our team can help with any enquiries or you make an appointment with one of our experienced consultants.

Call us today

020 7079 4344
This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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