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Anal Fistulotomy

Great Surgical Care at Marina del Rey Hospital

Why Choose Cedars-Sinai Marina del Rey Hospital for Anal Fistulotomy?

At Cedars-Sinai Marina del Rey Hospital our specialists have vast knowledge in various methods of modern treatment. For the best possible outcome, the fistulotomy will be performed as a robotic-assisted intervention by our surgeons, this way the risk of negative side effects will be lowered and the recovery rate accelerated.

Your path to rehabilitation will begin at our facility in Los Angeles, one of the most advanced medical environments in our country. The highly-experienced personnel will make sure you will receive the care needed for you to have your old life back.

Anal fistula is an abnormal tunnel-like lesion, which starts in the anus and ends on the skin on the buttocks. It usually occurs as a result of an anal abscess or infection. This affection can only be treated with operation and the most used surgical intervention is called anal fistulotomy. The aim of the procedure is to repair the anal fistula and to prevent its recurrence.

Several aspects of the surgery should be taken into account before undergoing the procedure:

  • do not shave the incision area yourself
  • leave your important possessions at home
  • take a shower before surgery
  • do not use lotions, deodorants, nail polish or perfume
  • remove all jewelry
  • follow the indications of your doctor exactly

Minimally invasive surgery provides a series of benefits like:

  • less bleeding
  • lower infection rates
  • minimal scarring
  • less postoperative pain
  • faster recovery

Robot-assisted interventions imply the introduction of a digital system in the surgeon-patient interaction. Therefore, the surgeon performs the operation using a console to move the arms of the robot and a screen for video guidance. Due to the use of these devices, surgical interventions are done with more precision and smaller incisions.

The doctor cuts the internal opening of the fistula, flushes out the infected tissue and then stitches the tunnel. If the fistula is more complicated, it might be necessary to remove a part of the tunnel.

It usually takes a couple of weeks to fully recover from the surgery but most people feel very little pain after a few days. You will probably be discharged the same day you undergo the surgical intervention and you will be able to return to your normal routine after 1-2 weeks.

You will certainly experience some discomfort in the incision area after the surgical intervention but it should not be worse than the pain the fistula used to cause. The pain will begin to appear when the effect of the anesthetic wears off but most likely the doctor will prescribe you some pain killers that you should take on a regular basis.

The risks depend on several aspects like the location of the fistula but the most common ones are the following:

  • recurrence of the fistula
  • infection
  • bowel incontinence

If the fistula is very complex, it might be necessary for you to undergo a more-invasive surgery like:

  • Muscle flap: the tunnel is filled with muscle tissue from the buttock or thigh
  • Ostomy and stoma: a temporary opening in the abdomen is created to collect the waste in a bag and to let the area heal

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