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Fistula-in-Ano: 7 Important Things You Must Know

Fistula-in-ano generally cause discomfort due to pus or watery discharges and sometimes pain. This is a condition where a nodular swelling appears in the area surrounding the anal opening. Intermittent pus discharge is noticed from this nodular swelling. Instead of a nodular swelling; there might be simply an opening in this region. An anal abscess is one of the most common causes of this condition. 

Seven important things you should know about the Anal Fistula:

  1. It is curable through Ayurveda only: Till date many treatment options are tried to cure Fistula which include Fistula Surgery/ Glu technique/ cutting seton/ Colostomy/ Fistula plug/ VAAFT and many more. But all of these treatment methods have a pretty high recurrence rate of about 20-25 %. However with Ksharsutra treatment for Fistula; chances of recurrence are negligible. Other complications generally seen in surgery like bleeding, incontinence (inability to hold stool); are not seen with Ksharsutra Treatment. Clinical trials conducted by Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR); at AIIMS New Delhi and PGI Chandigarh in 1992 have proved that Ksharsutra treatment is more convenient and more effective than Surgery in the patients of Fistula. 
  2. There are symptoms you can look out for: Some of the symptoms that indicate Fistula include appearance of a nodular swelling in area surrounding stool pass area. Intermittent pus discharge is also observed from this swelling. Usually pain subsides and opening closes after the discharges; and the patient feels relief. But after a certain interval of time again pus accumulates; swelling re-appears with some amount of pain which is again relieved after the discharge. This cycle is repeated at varying interval in the patient of Fistula.
  3. Medication can only provide temporary relief: Antibiotics and painkillers might give temporary relief from the symptoms. But after some time there will be again pus formation and associated swelling & pain in area surrounding stool pass opening. 
  4. Anal Fistula can recur after surgical treatment: As discussed above all the treatment options tried by modern medicine (including most recent treatment VAAFT) have high incidence of recurrence (about 20-25%) Whereas there are negligible chances of recurrence after Ksharsutra Treatment for Fistula. . 
  5. Anal Fistula treated by Graded Ksharsutra does not recur: Ayurvedic treatment for Fistula is known as Ksharsutra therapy. This involves the use of medicated thread being ligated in Fistula Tract. The medicines present in this thread act as a strong debriding agent and induce healing of the Fistula tract. In a few weekly sittings of Ksharsutra change; Fistula gets healed completely and it does not recur. Patient can maintain his normal routine life during the treatment period. 
  6. Sitz bath can be beneficial: This involves sitting in a tub filled with warm water so that the affected site is submerged. An antiseptic and astringent agent like Triphala decoction may be added to the water if needed. A sitz bath soothes the skin and provides relief from pain. This also helps keep the area clean and thus reduces chances of infection. 
  7. Oily and spicy foods should be avoided: When dealing with Fistula, you should try and take a diet that keeps your stool soft and regular. Hence use of oily and spicy foods should be reduced. Eat plenty of fiber and drink lots of water. Alcohol should also be avoided. 

Comparative Study: 

Ksharsutra vs Surgery in Fistula Patients-

  1. Ksharsutra is done under Local Anesthesia. Hence complications of General Anesthesia are avoided. Surgical procedures are done under GA with all impending complications of General Anesthesia. 
  2. Ksharsutra being a parasurgical procedure hence no bleeding/ cutting of tissue is involved. Surgery involves cutting/ bleeding. 
  3. No hospitalization or bed rest is required in Ksharsutra Treatment. In Surgery hospitalization is must. 
  4. In Ksharsutra; patient can continue his normal daily routine. 
  5. Complications like incontinence (inability to hold stool) and recurrence are seen after surgery.
  6. Ksharsutra is a safe procedure and these complications are not seen. 
  7. Ksharsutra Treatment is more economical as compared to VAAFT surgery. VAAFT Surgery is comparatively too expensive.

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