Anal Fistula Specialist

Ronald Ambe, MD -  - Proctologist

Ronald Ambe, MD

Proctologist & Colorectal Surgeon located in Kingwood, TX

Anorectal surgery, trauma, or a history of Crohn’s disease may place you at risk of developing an anal fistula, which is a tunnel that develops between the lining of your anal or rectal tissue to your skin. Anal fistulas are painful and may lead to stool leakage. Ronald Ambe, MD, a board-certified colon and rectal surgeon at Texas Surgical Care, specializes in the treatment of anal fistulas and offers many procedural solutions. For a consultation with a compassionate and experienced surgeon, contact the office in Kingwood, Texas, by phone or book online today.

Anal Fistula Q & A

What is an anal fistula?

An anal fistula refers to a tunnel that develops from the internal glands in your anus or rectum to your skin. Your anus is the last part of your digestive system and is responsible for expelling stool from your body. The internal area of your anus contains glands that produce mucus. 

If one of the glands in your anus becomes clogged or infected, you may develop an abscess, which may lead to an anal fistula.

What causes an anal fistula?

In most cases, anal fistulas develop when feces, bacteria, or some other foreign matter clogs an anal gland, leading to an abscess. However, certain health conditions may increase your risk of developing an anal fistula, such as:

  • Crohn’s disease
  • Trauma
  • Tuberculosis
  • Diverticulitis
  • Sexually transmitted diseases
  • Cancer

You may also be at risk of developing an anal fistula if you suffer from prolonged or chronic diarrhea. 

What are anal fistula symptoms?

Pain, swelling, and discharge are the most common symptoms of an anal fistula. The discharge may be foul-smelling or bloody. You may also experience pain and bleeding during bowel movements and develop a fever and feel fatigued. 

If you’re experiencing these symptoms, contact Texas Surgical Care to schedule an evaluation.

What can I expect during an anal fistula evaluation?

Dr. Ambe at Texas Surgical Care takes a holistic approach to medicine and surgery, and you can expect a comprehensive evaluation when you come to the office with concerns about an anal fistula.

During your evaluation, Dr. Ambe reviews your symptoms and medical history and evaluates your anal fistula. Most anal fistulas open out to the skin, but if your fistula isn’t visible, additional testing may be needed to find the opening, which may include anoscopy, ultrasound, or MRI.

How is an anal fistula treated?

Dr. Ambe offers a handful of procedures to relieve symptoms, heal the fistula, and reduce the risk of a recurrence. He reviews your procedural options and performs the procedure that best fits your needs and wishes. 

Common anal fistula procedures include:

  • Fistulotomy
  • Fibrin glue injection
  • Anal fistula plug
  • Endoanal advancement flap
  • Ligation of the intersphincteric fistula tract (LIFT)

Most anal fistula procedures are outpatient procedures. But, in some cases, hospitalization may be recommended. 

To schedule your consultation with the expert proctologist at Texas Surgical Care to discuss your anal fistula surgical options, call the office or book an appointment online today.