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Last Updated: Jan 10, 2023

Anal Fistula - How Non Surgical Treatment Is Better Than VAAFT/Surgery?

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Dr. S K Singh, Sushruta Ano Rectal Institute Piles And Fistula TreatmentGeneral Surgeon • 37 Years Exp.M.S. (Ayurveda), Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine and Surgery (BAMS)
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Anal Fistula is a tunnel like communication structure between anal canal and outer skin. There are certain glands in anus whose secretions keep the anal passage lubricated. If due to any reason infectious agent invades these glands abscess formation occurs which subsequently spreads towards the skin and bursts outside forming an external opening.

So Anal Fistula presents itself as a nodular swelling in area surrounding anal opening. Intermittent pus discharge is seen from this swelling. When pus has accumulated there will be swelling and pain which subsides once the pus has been discharged and this cycle goes on.

Anal Fistula Treatment:

Anal Fistula cannot be treated by oral medicines only - Homeopathic/ Allopathic or Ayurvedic whatever it may be. Continuing oral medicines in hope for fistula treatment only worsens the problem. Different surgical options have been tried to treat Anal Fistula like Fistulectomy/ VAAFT/ Laser/ LIFT etc. but not satisfactory results have been found. A high incidence of recurrence around 20-25 % has been observed with these procedures.

Besides this other complications like stool incontinence etc. are also seen if there is some damage to sphincter muscles. However Anal Fistula can be completely treated by Graded KsharsutraTM Treatment. Clinical trials conducted by Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) at AIIMS new Delhi; PGI Chandigarh and other premier institutes of medical sciences; have proved that Ksharsutra treatment is more convenient and more effective than Surgery in patients suffering from Anal Fistula.

In this treatment; first of all Fistula tract is defined with respect to depth, direction and branching pattern by careful manual probing and MRI Fistulogram. Once the Fistula tract has been defined properly; Graded KsharsutraTM - a specialized medicated thread is placed in Fistula tract. Medicine released from KsharsutraTM debrides the Fistula tract and induces healing. This medicine works for 5-7 days so old Ksharsutra needs to be replaced by a new thread at week or 10 days interval.

No. of Ksharsutra changes required for complete healing of Fistula depends on length of Fistulous tract. It has been observed that a Fistula tract of 3 cm length usually requires 4-5 Graded KsharsutraTM sittings at weekly intervals for complete healing. Thus with this recent concept of Graded Ksharsutra treatment of Anal Fistula has become more easy and more effective.

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