India's leading fistula surgeon_dr. amita jain

An untreated fistula, a painful condition resulting from an infected tunnel between the skin surrounding the rectum, can lead to severe consequences. Ignoring or delaying treatment may exacerbate physical and emotional distress.

In this post, we’ll delve into the repercussions of neglecting timely treatment for a fistula and emphasize the significance of seeking medical assistance promptly says Dr Amita Jain who is India’s leading laparoscopic surgeon and specialist doctor for fistula.

What are the treatments for fistula?

Treating a fistula typically necessitates surgery, aimed at both addressing the fistula and safeguarding the integrity of the sphincter muscles. This delicate balance aims to eradicate the fistula while minimizing the risk of sphincter muscle damage, which could lead to incontinence. Some of the treatment options are:

  • Fistulotomy
  • Ksharsutra
  • FiLaC procedure (Fistula-tract Laser Closure)
  • Fistula Plug
  • Seton placement and surgery
  • Laser fistula treatment
  • LIFT procedure (Ligation of Intersphincteric Fistula Tract)
  • PILTEC: a modification of the LIFT procedure
  • VAAFT procedure

What are some of the complications of untreated fistula?

Persistent pain and discomfort – An untreated fistula often manifests with varying degrees of pain, from mild to severe, potentially evolving into chronic discomfort. As the fistula tract becomes infected, inflammation ensues, exacerbating the discomfort. Persistent pain can significantly hinder daily activities, leading to a diminished quality of life.

india's leading fistula specialist_dr.amita jain

Formation of complex fistulas – Untreated fistulas can escalate in complexity over time, potentially developing multiple openings or tracts as the interconnected tunnels expand. Managing these intricate fistulas poses considerable challenges, often necessitating invasive surgical interventions.

Delaying treatment heightens the likelihood of a simple fistula evolving into a complex and formidable condition to address.

Fecal Incontinence and Bowel Dysfunction – Untreated fistulas can result in persistent bowel issues and fecal incontinence. Chronic infection and inflammation can weaken the sphincter muscles, affecting bowel control. This may cause involuntary stool and gas leakage, leading to social isolation and significant emotional distress.

Stenosis – Untreated fistulas may progress to stenosis, where scarring and narrowing of tissues occur, resulting in painful and uncomfortable bowel movements. This condition significantly impairs the patient’s quality of life, making stool passage distressing and challenging.

Persistent infections -Delaying treatment for a fistula heightens the risk of recurrent infections. The untreated fistula serves as a continuous route for bacteria, causing repeated abscesses and troublesome infections. These infections induce severe pain, swelling, and the formation of pus-filled pockets, perpetuating a cycle of discomfort that significantly affects one’s quality of life.

Abscess Formation – Untreated fistulas raise the likelihood of abscess formation and painful collections of pus resulting from infection. These abscesses cause swelling, pain, and bowel movement issues.

Treatment typically involves draining pus and antibiotics, yet without addressing the underlying fistula, abscess recurrence is probable, perpetuating an ongoing cycle of infection and abscess formation.

Risk of stricture – Untreated fistulas can progress to anal strictures, where scarring and narrowing of tissues occur, causing difficulty in passing stools. This can lead to severe pain, constipation, and potentially bowel obstruction. Surgical intervention is often necessary to alleviate symptoms and restore regular bowel function.

Systemic Infection(Sepsis) – Rarely, an untreated fistula can progress to sepsis, a severe systemic infection affecting vital organs and potentially endangering life.

Symptoms of sepsis include high fever, rapid heartbeat, confusion, and shortness of breath. Prompt treatment of fistula can mitigate the risk of systemic infection.

Increased risk of cancer – Though uncommon, untreated fistulas may increase the risk of developing cancer. Persistent inflammation and irritation can foster the growth of precancerous changes, leading to cancerous cells. Early detection is crucial, as cancer is highly treatable. This underscores the importance of timely intervention.

Dr Amita Jain - Best Laparoscopy Surgeon in Delhi

Dr Amita Jain is a surgeon with highest degree of professional competence, precision and surgical craftsmanship. Performed all complicated general surgery procedures with in depth knowledge of invasive and few minimal invasive and onco surgical techniques. Underwent special training in trauma, executed various trauma-related complex life-saving neurosurgical procedures, reconstructed injured mangled limbs and performed vascular and reconstructive procedures with critical care.

Dr Amita Jain holds 28 plus years of rich experience in Trauma and General Laparoscopic Surgeries (including Gallbladder stone removalappendix removalhernia repair surgery, piles and fissure surgeries). She was the Professor Surgery of at the Army College of Medical Sciences and Base Hospital Delhi Cantt. In 1994 she was commissioned as Surgeon under the United Nations Mission in Congo. From 2020 to 2022, she worked with Bansals Hospital. Currently, Dr Amita Jain is the Senior Consultant, (Speciality: General and Laparoscopic Surgeon) at Artemis Lite Hospital, New Delhi